Administration and law enforcement officials are warning that the Ukraine invasion necessitates heightened attention to possible Russian cyber attacks.
“These threats are real” says Jen Psaki, speaking for the President. Recent documented penetrations include WatchGuard firewall equipment, commonly used by small business. Owners need to pay close attention now to network activity and have defensive plans in place.
Basic threat prevention starts with maintaining software at its most recent version and implementing multifactor authentication (MFA), particularly for remote or mobile devices. Only a few years ago, MFA was an expensive, esoteric system that required dedicated fobs and was generally reserved to large bank accounts. MFA, quite simply, is a method to reduce intrusions into a protected system. Rather than just requiring a login and password (something you know) which can be easily obtained, the “multi-factor” requires a physical device or physiological indicator (something you have in your possession). Thus, a hacker cannot access the account remotely without the device or person. This functionality is built into many software systems and is widely available in connection with a mobile phone.
Software maintenance or “patch management” as it is more commonly known, requires keeping software versions up to date so that all of the latest security measures are incorporated against known threats.
These are just two small steps in a “defense in depth” mentality that should be adopted by business owners.
Metz Lewis’ Information and Business Technology Group can help you navigate your business’ legal and technical challenges.
This post was written by Barry Friedman