As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, we are horrified by the destruction, loss of life, and heartbreaking chaos that is unfolding every day. We also know that this conflict is likely to drag on and escalate.
While it’s hard to predict anything related to Putin, one tactic that could very well come into play is cyberterrorism, attempts to disrupt internet activity and sow online chaos. That’s why TEN7 is reaching out to clients to help them prepare.
Russia has a history of cyber attacks including wiping website data, cutting off access to services and information, hacking sites to distribute misinformation, or placing malware to secretly steal sensitive information. Experts say Russia is already doing this in Ukraine and, as Putin grows more frustrated with the resistance, the tactics could be used against the United States as well.
Before you dismiss this post with the thought that your website isn’t big enough or important enough to be the target of a hack, remember that most hacks are conducted randomly, on a mass scale and in an automated fashion. Bad actors look for weaknesses wherever they can find them. You don’t want to be that weak link!
So, what should you do to protect yourself and your website from potential cyber attacks? Here are some of the tips:
- Use a Password Manager – The fastest way to end up in a downward spiral of digital chaos is to have your passwords hacked. Now is the time to make sure you are using a password manager. If your user name and password get compromised, it opens the door for major problems for your business and your personal information. 1Password, Bitwarden and LastPass are all good options.
- Use Multi Factor Authentication – For both personal and business accounts, be sure you take advantage of multi factor authentication. It’s simple to set up and to use, and offers a valuable security net. We love the YubiKey 5C nano.
- Limit Access – Don’t set up your website with one, singular administrative account. Instead set up granular permissions so different users only have access to the areas that they need to access and maintain. That way if one account is hacked, the bad actors won’t have access to your entire website.
- Have a Good Backup System – Be sure you’re consistently backing up your website securely so if you do get hacked you can revert to your backup and get up and running again quickly. We built Tractorbeam exactly for this purpose.
- Protect Against DDOS Attacks – One way websites can be disabled is through a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS), flooding your servers with too many requests to be processed. This can be mitigated by using something like CloudFlare to protect your site by caching pages. It not only improves your website performance, but it also protects you against downtime.
- If You See Something, Say Something – We’ve all had lapses of judgment and clicked on links we shouldn’t have. Encourage your team members to report issues to the IT department quickly if they suspect they may have fallen for a scam or compromised website security somehow. Getting out ahead of an issue is far better than letting it spiral out of control.
- PAUSE – Don’t be in such a hurry when you’re interacting online. Going through email quickly and trying to check things off can make you susceptible to phishing scams, or clicking on a link that you should not have clicked. Be deliberate in your activities. Trust your gut. If an email or link doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. MinutePhysics did a great video on this very simple idea.
These are stressful times. The last thing you need is added stress from a cyber attack. Please follow these steps to safeguard yourself and your websites. And if you have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help.