This post is a summary of a full interview about Russian Cyberattacks that John conducted with Bottomline Publications.
As Russian cyberattacks increase, a bit of prep isn’t paranoid
The world is a bit on edge, wouldn’t you say? With geopolitical tension escalating and Russian recruitment of members from REvil, a criminal computer-hacking organization, it’s a good time to buckle down and be very intentional about how we are protecting what matters most – data and otherwise. Preparing for a Russian cyberattack is not about being afraid or panicking that cyber doomsday is around the corner. It is about having systems and backups in place that will make your life safer, easier, and more in your control if an attack should occur. And it protects you even if it doesn’t occur. Those who prep, survive. And because our physical worlds are so influenced by our digital worlds, you can’t plan one without the other.
Here is a quick summary of 11 ways to protect both the physical and digital realms of your day-to-day life:
- Stock up: non-perishable foods, medications, water (1 gallon per person per day), a windup radio, portable power station, and other emergency supplies.
- Gas up: Keep your tank filled.
- Cash out: Keep two weeks worth of money in $5-10 bills. Russia could shut down ATMs or credit card processors.
- Print ‘em: Opt into paper statements to have bank account information handy.
Cyber Threats to Cloud Data
- Back up: Use a 3-2-1 plan to backup essentials (photos, passwords, emails, documents, financial info). Keep THREE copies of the data in TWO different formats with ONE in the cloud.
- Check back: Make sure to have a consistent backup schedule and check that it’s working.
Cyber Attacks On Your Network
- Don’t click: Pause before clicking on any links in emails. This break will allow you to investigate and possibly avoid ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and other Russian cyberattacks.
- Patch Software: Turn on automatic updates for all operating systems, anti-virus software and apps.
- Two-factor Authentication: Turn on two-step logins for all financial, health and wealth websites as well as email.
- Protect the elderly/young: Seniors and kids are easy targets. Setup remote access to their devices, use parental controls where applicable and make sure they know not to click on suspicious email links.
Communication Backup Plan
- Plan it: In the event of a communication outage, make sure you have a predesignated meeting place to gather at after a scheduled number of hours.
- Print it: Print out (or memorize!) phone numbers, street addresses, and other important information stored on your phone.
- Know it: Make sure you know how to manually operate your garage door, thermostat, and other household appliances that would normally use the internet.
Believe me, I get it. No one wants to think about the chilling possibilities of Russian cyberattacks that cause disrupted gas pipelines, locked ATMs, or dead cell phones. But as the Russian aggression stumbles and sputters, Putin and his generals will reach for any tool of power in their desperation. It’s not a time to be paranoid, but prepared.
John Sileo shares his story of losing everything to cybercrime because of a lack of preparation with keynote audiences around the world. He specializes in the human element of cybersecurity and makes cybersecurity engaging, so that it sticks. Contact us at 303.777.3222 to see how John would customize for your event.