Russia’s recent unprovoked attack on Ukraine has raised concerns over our own cybersecurity. The attacks weren’t just physical but included cyberattacks on the Ukrainian government as well as critical infrastructure organizations inside and outside the region. So, it’s very understandable to be concerned about our security.
As the go-to agency many organizations use to protect security and infrastructure, Managed Services Group is ready to assist businesses in preparing for, responding to, and mitigating the effects of cyber-attacks. When cybersecurity incidents are reported early, we’re not only able to better protect your information and systems; we’re also able to use this information to provide support and serve as a warning to other businesses and entities. This early warning helps them to avoid becoming victims of similar attempts. That’s why this article explores cyber attacks and how to stay protected.
PREVENTION IS KEY
Managed Services Group advises all businesses to take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity and safeguard their most valuable assets regardless of size. Recognizing that locating resources for critical security upgrades can be complex for many companies, we’re happy to provide a list of free services from government and industry partners to help.
Additionally, the following actions are suggested to help prevent attacks:
- Verify that all remote network access, as well as privileged or administrative access, requires multi-factor authentication.
- Double-check that software is current, focusing on upgrades that address CISA-identified exploited vulnerabilities.
- Confirm that the organization’s IT staff has disabled all ports and protocols that aren’t needed for business.
Detecting possible intrusions are simplified by:
- Confirming that cybersecurity/IT workers are focused on detecting and assessing any strange or unexpected network behavior. To further investigate issues or events, enable logging.
- Verifying that the organization’s entire network is secured by antivirus/antimalware software and that the signatures in these products are kept up to date.
- If you’re working with Ukrainian organizations, paying particular attention to monitoring, inspecting, and isolating traffic from them, as well as reviewing access limits for that traffic.
It’s also necessary to know that your organization is ready to respond if an intrusion occurs:
- Designate a crisis-response team with significant lines of contact and roles/responsibilities inside the organization, including technology, communications, legal, and business continuity.
- Establish critical personnel’s availability; determine how to give surge support in the event of an issue.
- Perform a tabletop exercise to assure that all participants are aware of their responsibilities in the event of an emergency.
Finally, you’ll also want to confirm your company’s resiliency to a cyber attack:
- Test backup methods to guarantee that critical data can be restored quickly if the company is hit by ransomware or a damaging cyberattack; make sure backups are separated from network connections.
- Conduct a test of manual controls if employing industrial control systems to guarantee that essential functions continue, even if the organization’s network is unavailable or untrustworthy.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CEO’S
Managed Services Group recognizes that corporate leaders such as CEOs play an important role in confirming their organization is well protected. That’s why we’d like to offer some additional tips that can help bring peace of mind.
- Empower your CISOs: Security enhancements are balanced against cost and operational hazards in almost every firm. In this high-risk climate, senior management should empower Chief Information Security Officers by involving them in risk decision-making and ensuring that everyone in the firm realizes that security investments are a crucial priority in the short term.
- Lower your reporting thresholds: Every firm should have written thresholds for notifying top management and the US government about suspected cyber problems. These thresholds should be much lower than usual in this high-threat situation. Senior management should adopt a policy that any signs of harmful cyber activity should be reported to CISA or the FBI. Lowering the standards will allow those who need to quickly identify a problem and defend against subsequent attacks or victims.
- Test your response plans: Your security and IT staff and senior company executives and Board members should be included in your cyber event response plans. Senior management needs to participate in a tabletop exercise, if not already done, to ensure familiarity with how your company will handle a severe cyberattack that affects not only your company but also companies in your supply chain.
If you’ve followed the above steps and still aren’t confident in your security, or if the above steps are out of your tech team’s control, we’re happy to help. Consider MS Group your cyber wingmates!
Managed Services Group offers a fixed-fee service plan designed to reduce your costs, increase your workflow efficiency, and of course, mitigate business and security risks. Reach out today for a free consultation.