The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the FBI, and the US Department of Homeland Security have issued a joint alert warning of a global campaign. Ciaran Martin, head of the UK's NCSC said the issuing of the alert marked a "significant moment" as the two powers had never before given joint advice on how to deal with attacks.
"Many of the techniques used by Russia exploit basic weaknesses in network systems," said Martin. "There are millions of machines being globally targeted, trying to seize control over connectivity."
The total is believed to include tens of thousands of home devices in the UK alone, which could be used "at scale" for wider operations. Security services have admitted they do not know the full scale of attacks by state-sponsored Russian hackers, who are using routers connecting people's homes and offices to the internet to spy on the information going through them, harvesting passwords, data, and other information that could later be used in an attack.
How can you better prepare yourself?
Change your passwords
Ensure they're new passwords that have never been used before, make sure they're different for all of your accounts, and change them regularly.
Add multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Companies like Google and Microsoft offer MFA as standard on their personal accounts. Make sure you turn them on, and strongly consider implementing MFA on your corporate network as well. Get in touch or speak to your Account Manager to find out more about the MFA solutions that we offer.
Be extra vigilant
Treat any unknown emails or phone calls with an extra layer of caution. Do not give out personal or business information to any untrusted sources, and if you're unsure, always go directly to the source rather than responding to an email.
Raise the cyber-security profile within your organisation
Regularly discuss the topic of cyber-security in your team and company meetings and encourage all employees - especially your senior management team - to take the time to keep abreast of the latest industry news and headlines. The more you and your employees know about cyber security, the better.
To discuss an improved cybersecurity strategy for your business and what options are available to you, get in touch. We will be happy to complete an initial cybersecurity-focused assessment of your current IT infrastructure in order to protect against potential data loss and a rapidly changing threat landscape.
Contact our cyber security team for more information.