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Americans At Increased Risk of Hacking After Russia-Ukraine War

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week at the end of February 2022, Americans may be facing higher cyber security risks. They may be at a greater risk of being hacked or being the victim of a cyber attack from Russia.

Increased Russian Cyber Activity Reported After Russia-Ukraine War

University of Virginia cybersecurity professor Ryan Wright tells USA Today, “We are seeing more and more nation-state activity due to the conflict in the Ukraine. With U.S. sanctions setting in, it is only a matter of time until the U.S. is targeted more directly. This may mean attacks on your personal device through ransomware but also attacks on the infrastructure such as your internet access or even the power grid.”

CEO of Gurucul, a security firm, suggests “Russia might try to disrupt financial systems and crucial infrastructure such as the power grid or oil production to put pressure on the U.S. to relent on sanctions. Though it’s unlikely cyberattackers would target most Americans individually the reality is that any cyberattack can have repercussions on individuals.”

Here’s how U.S. businesses and individuals can protect themselves in the weeks to come.

Expect Disruptions, Experts Say

Managing Director of Breakwater Solutions, a security firm with headquarters in Austin, Texas, tells USA Today that he doesn’t think Russia will actually target Americans on an individual basis. However, he adds that he believes it’s “reasonable to expect that their lives will be impacted in some ways by cyber retaliatory actions that result from U.S. sanctions and other political maneuvering.”

Digital safety guru and CEO of The Media Trust, Warns Chris Olson, agrees, telling the newspaper that “consumers should be aware that cyber actors can target them through almost any website or mobile application.”

Practice Good Cyber Hygeine

Americans should take extra steps to ensure they are practicing cyber hygiene.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Enable multi-factor authentication on your applications wherever possible. This includes all your devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If you try to log into one of your accounts from a new location, you will be prompted to verify your login on a second device before you can access that account. This prevents hackers from stealing your password and using it on another device.

Password Management

Make sure you use strong passwords and that they are unique for every account and application you use. This may seem daunting, so consider a password manager like LastPass or similar that can generate secure passwords, store them safely, and automatically populate them for you at login.

Employee Security

Make sure your employees are aware of current threats and mitigation tactics. You should have regular meetings to provide support to staff learning how to identify and circumvent cybersecurity threats.

Updated Antivirus Software

Check your antivirus software and make sure that it’s up to date with the latest version. If it’s out of date, you should purchase and download the newest copy or ask your cyber security professional to help.

Get Help Protecting Your Company’s Cyber Security Today

PCG can help you strengthen your cybersecurity at work as well as your remote workforce working from their homes.

Contact us today to learn more or call 603-431-4121.