Cyberattacks are a common means of non-physical warfare intended to steal and cripple businesses and compromise an individual’s data.
It is not uncommon to see waring nations engage in a spate of cyberattacks against each other.
The real victims are the innocent folk trying to make a living through e-commerce platforms. These attacks compromise a firm’s data, resulting in heavy losses for the victims.
With the ever-increasing tension between the West and Russia, many businesses and individuals have become targets of Russian Cyberattacks. These are malicious attacks intended to sabotage businesses and steal personal data.
You must be prepared to deal with these cyberattacks, targeting businesses indiscriminately. Your priority should be to secure your data.
How To Prepare for A Russian Cyberattack
1. Install Security Patches
Software updates come with the latest security patches. These updates seal vulnerabilities detected in the previous updates, making your systems more secure.
You should also keep the latest version of every software, from your operating systems to your antivirus. Outdated versions of the software are not secure.
You can set your systems to automatically download patches and updates in the background or outside working hours.
Your antivirus database updates will help detect newly-created malware that could potentially compromise your network or system.
Not only should you update the systems and antivirus, but also individual programs, especially your accounting and database applications.
2. Use Auto-gen Passwords
One of the surest ways of preventing people from gaining access to your network or system is using auto-generated passwords. The passwords usually are more secure and improbable for people to decode.
The Auto-generated passwords get stored in your email, so you do not have to write down or learn each character.
If you synchronize your email to the browser or device, you should access programs without having to enter the passwords.
If you cannot synchronize your email because multiple users share the device, you can use an online automated password generator. The kicker is that you will have to note the password down or save it to a personal folder.
3. Cloud-based and Physical Backup
Russian hackers may compromise your data without necessarily stealing anything. It occurs where the information is of no particular use to them, but the hack prevents you from doing business.
You should back up important files and programs to your cloud. There are so many commercial and free cloud storage services. You should also consider a local backup as they are far harder to compromise.
Your local backup can be just a few password-protected hard drives or solid-state drives where you store the most critical and sensitive information.
It is an excellent alternative because hackers from overseas can’t steal physical copies. You should routinely backup data so such drives.
4. Accessing Public Networks
One of the main ways Russians steal data is by accessing public networks. These are networks from your local coffee shops, the library, malls, diners, etc.
You should know that you are never safe when connecting to a public network because you don’t know who else has access.
Your passwords, emails, and files are not safe whenever you connect to a network. It would be best if you, therefore, took measures to mask your IP.
Using a Virtual Private Network will be safe from malicious hacks. VPNs even allow you to change your digital location, making you virtually invisible to people on the same network.
5. Phishing emails
Phishing is a targeted campaign intended to baiting individuals and businesses to part with their personal information.
The emails appear legitimate and are sent by entities pausing as reputable firms, clients, and even banking institutions. They are the most common type of cybercrime.
These emails may also come in the form of links that, when you follow, appear to be legitimate websites but are fronts intended to collect your data and passwords.
You should always countercheck the emails and scrutinize them thoroughly to avoid falling victim to such campaigns. Never enter your email or passwords on unauthorized or suspicious websites.
6. Change Your Router Settings
One of how businesses are vulnerable to Russian cyberattacks is through their network routers.
Once your router is compromised, hackers can access all your computers, phones, and any of your smart devices. It makes routers a primary target for cyberattacks.
To protect your router, you should turn on encryption. Go to the settings and turn on the WPA2 encryption.
Never allow remote access services to use your network, making you vulnerable to attacks. It would help if you also changed the password once every few weeks.
Consequences Of A Russian Cyberattack On Your Business
A Russian cyberattack has severe ramifications on your business. These may include:
A cyber attack will compromise your daily business activities. Ransomware attacks are common. Wherein, the exchange of money or cryptocurrency, the hacker, will allow you to access your network and website.
Cyberattacks also lead to the theft of critical and sensitive information such as contract agreements, non-disclosure agreements, business patents, etc. If the information gets leaked to competitors, your business could fold.
The attacks may also lead to theft of bank information, where hackers may drain your accounts without your consent.
You might also need to pay a lot of money in case of ransomware attacks on your system or network.
If you happen to survive a cyberattack, your business will have to reevaluate your network security and possibly upgrade it to be more secure. Such upgrades are costly.
Cyberattacks will ruin your goodwill and tarnish your business reputation. It is especially true for financial institutions and monetary services.
In some industries, confidentiality is vital. A cyberattack where client details get stolen could signal the death of the business.
Therefore, it would help if you were extra-cautious to prevent attacks on your networks or systems.
A business that falls victim to a cyberattack is perceived as too risky by prospective clients. Data leaks are therefore detrimental to a business.
Aside from the financial and the business image side of things, cyberattacks carry a whole host of legal consequences.
Where confidential information leaks, the business will incur lawsuits. It is even worse in businesses that rely on confidentiality, such as law and banking.
Businesses are legally mandated to safeguard information from clients and employees. Breaches are, therefore, the responsibility of the business.
What To Do In Case Of A Cyberattack
If you are unfortunate enough to experience a cyberattack in your business, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the impact.
These attacks do have the potential to compromise your business severely. Your business can survive if you react swiftly.
Here are the steps you should take.
1. Inform the relevant authorities
Cybercrime is a serious issue, and there are specialized departments designated to deal with it. If the event of a cyberattack, you should inform your nearest federal field office.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a unit for tracking down the criminals. The Internet Crime Complaint Centre has an Asset Recovery Team that secures your finances by tracking them and freezing them if you target financial hacking.
The bureau is your best bet on recovering the assets swiftly. You should report the cases as and when you detect them.
2. Containment measures
The last thing you want to do in the event of a breach is to allow it to spread through your network or systems. To protect your network, you should:
Shut down the internet: It is the safest way to ensure that the hackers don’t have remote access to your network.
Change the passwords: Most institutions’ standard error in judgment is using the same password across all devices. It is perilous, as a remote hack compromises all the systems in the network.
If you notice that a system is compromised, everyone should change the passwords to all other computers.
Remove affected systems from the network: If you are confident that you can determine the affected systems, remove them and take down remote access. You may even shut them down completely.
3. Detect and seal the breach point
Once you have contained the breach, you must now try to determine where the breach started. The first thing is to detect the affected servers.
Once you know what servers are affected, try and determine the folk with access, and check the logs.
Check the network connections used in the cyberattack, and access their security. Once you isolate the affected server and the network, you can change the credentials.
Cyberattacks are frequent non-physical warfare aimed at stealing and crippling enterprises and compromising personal data. It is not unusual for warring states to launch cyberattacks on one another.
These are malicious assaults aimed at destroying companies and stealing personal information.
Because cyberattacks target businesses indiscriminately, you must be prepared to deal with them. The security of your data should be your priority. These breaches can kill your business.