Heightened Cybersecurity Awareness

Five Key Cybersecurity Preparedness Actions in Response to White House Warnings

Recently released cybersecurity advisories have been warning of the increasing cybersecurity threats to all organizations regardless of size. Last month, the White House echoed those sentiments and released a statement about the potential impact to Western companies from Russian Government-linked threat actors. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added to the President’s statement saying that “we should consider every sector vulnerable”, and recommends all organizations adopt a heightened posture when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting their most critical assets.

Given this increased risk and potential impact, the CompliancePoint Cyber Security Team recommends that the following items be verified and actions taken, if needed, to increase your organization’s cybersecurity readiness and awareness.

  1. Review and test your cyber incident response plan. Ensure the crisis response teams are updated with main points of contact for a suspected cybersecurity incident and that roles/responsibilities within the organization, including technology, communications, legal and business continuity are clearly defined. 
  2. Verify access controls and environments are in place to protect your most valuable data. This should include enabling alternative access methods to these environments, including multi-factor authentication solutions. 
  3. Review your Log retention policy. Secured offline log data is one of your most important tools for detecting both attacks and analyzing the level of compromise in the event of an attack. This does not only include typical system logs but also DNS logs, user command line logs and application logs.
  4. Verify and test long-term and short-term backups. While short-term backups have always been accepted as a means to recover systems, companies should also be looking at long-term backups of their sensitive systems if the short-term backups are compromised. Test backup procedures to ensure that critical data can be rapidly restored if the organization is impacted by ransomware or a destructive cyber attack.
  5. Increase employee security awareness. Well-trained staff and employees are the most effective defense mechanisms against a cyber breach. Communicate with your employees to increase their security awareness and reinforce the escalation paths should an issue arise.

In our experience responding to cyber incidents, we have found a direct correlation between the time it takes to react to an attack and the cost associated with recovering from one. By implementing the measures covered above, you will increase your organization’s ability to respond to a cybersecurity incident swiftly and efficiently.

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If you have additional questions about how to prepare for, prevent or respond to a cybersecurity incident, please contact us at connect@compliancepoint.com

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