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Ferrilli Security Alert: Russian Cyber Activity Updates & Preparation Advice

Ferrilli Security Alert: Russian Cyber Activity Updates & Preparation Advice

We’re following up from our Russian Cyber Activity webinar earlier this month to provide our higher education community with the latest updates and advice on the Russian cyber threat:

The U.S. Government has called the current moment “critical” in working towards enhancing its cybersecurity defenses and believes the threat of cyberattack from Russia is looming against the United States.

Government officials stated this reinforces the urgent need for all organizations, large and small, and even individuals to act now to protect themselves against malicious cyber activity.

The following information can help you be prepared:

Report anomalous cyber activity and/or cyber incidents as soon as possible!

The CISA is working closely with federal and industry partners to monitor the threat environment 24/7 and they stand ready to help organizations respond to and recover from cyberattacks.

Visit CISA.gov/Shields-Up for information on how to protect your network(s) and how to report anomalous cyber activity and/or incidents. When cyber activity/incidents are reported quickly, it can contribute to stopping further attacks.

  • report@cisa.gov
  • (888) 282-0870, or
  • Your FBI Field Office or CISA Regional Office

What Can Be Done?

  • Treat people as your first line of defense – Educate your employees on common tactics (email and websites) and how to report suspicious activity and investigate their reports promptly and thoroughly.
  • Test your emergency procedures for backups and restoring services/data. Ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors.
  • Encrypt your data so it can not be used if stolen.
  • Verify your communication channels work and know the players and their roles in your Emergency Response Team.
  • Ensure software and hardware patching is current and up to date.
  • Enable multifactor authentication on all accounts/systems/devices connecting to your network(s).
  • Engage proactively with your local FBI field office or CISA Regional Office to establish relationships in advance of any cyber incidents.

Cybersecurity advice to share with co-workers, family and friends

  • Pay extra attention to email: Your work email address, as well as any personal email addresses, are the most common starting places for a targeted attack.
  • Protect yourself:
    • DO NOT FOLLOW LINKS contained in emails or in text messages – If you feel the communication is legitimate, navigate to the main website by typing in the primary site address and then navigate to the desired page/resource. o    Verify the email using a different contact method – Voice calling is particularly powerful in vetting outreach.
    • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to reduce compromises by unwanted hackers.
    • Protect your devices and home network – keep them up to date and use antivirus software. Use the latest supported versions, apply security patches promptly, use anti-virus and scan regularly to guard against known malware threats.
    • Beware of new outreach in social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.) and text messages from unknown phone numbers or groups.
  • Protect others:
    • REPORT any suspected communications or activity to your Helpdesk or IT department.
    • Report suspicious outreach received at your personal email addresses by reporting them to your service provider via their published resources.
    • DO NOT FORWARD or share:
      • unvetted outreach or “recommended” content.
      • suspicious messages Delete them immediately.

Thank you and please stay safe!​