Four Essential Steps Every Business Needs To Take To Tackle Cyber Threats During Wars

By Sarita Digumarti, Co-founder & COO, Jigsaw & Chief Learning Officer, UNext Learning

The last couple of years have been testing for us as humankind. Just when we believed we were done dealing with a collective battle on viral diseases and their variants, news stormed in of a war between Russia and Ukraine.
This, again, came as a test of human spirit, where we continued to push our physical and mental endurance. During such instances, anything could be a battlefield and everything could be targets. With the internet and its power dominating and influencing the way we think, react and respond, it is one of the first targets for attackers to exploit and extract data that they feel invaluable.

In this ongoing war, reports reveal that Russia had initiated close to 70 small hacks on Ukrainian websites, including targeted attacks on government websites such as the education ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs.
In times like these, one can never be sure of the perimeter of such cyber warfare. So, it’s on key stakeholders in organizations to ensure our business websites and data are safe from unprecedented exploits, DDoS attacks, ransomware and more. To help you get started, here are basic yet essential steps you need to take to tackle potential cyber threats during wars.

Make Leaders And CXOs Aware Of Threats
One of the first steps to take is to make your CXOs or organization leaders aware of the stakes and threats involved in times like these. Most attacks happen due to assumptions and negligence at policy levels and to prevent unnecessary panic and chaos, it is wiser to be informed and prepared with defensive measures.

For more context and clarity, start by checking out government websites or central authorities on updates and attacks and infrastructural upgrades. They also publish the most updated stats on attacks and vulnerabilities you could revisit in your organization and make them more airtight.

Talk To Your Cybersecurity Vendors On AI Modules
This is the time to bring in advanced intelligence systems and processes into your network infrastructure. Talk to your vendors on proactive threat intelligence and automation systems that could detect even the slightest of anomalies in networks and proactively prevent attacks before they happen. Also, leverage the potential of AI and bring in offensive strategies alongside defensive measures.

Prefer Advanced Encryption In Your Tools For Privacy And Security
If your business deals with a lot of sensitive data, you need to be more careful about metadata exposure, non-compliance, loss and more. Revisit the security and encryption standards of the tools you implement by getting in touch with relevant vendors and try to implement completely secured channels for all communications.

Limit BYOD practices for a while and educate your teams and professionals on cyber security best practices. Statistics reveal that close to 95% of cyber attacks happen due to human error. So, now would be a good time to spread awareness among your teams on safe practices and implement operational protocols.

Have An Able Team Of Cybersecurity Experts In Your Organization
If you’ve never had a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts in your business, this is the perfect time to deploy one. You could keep all cyberwarfare-specific consequences at bay by having cybersecurity professionals at your disposal.
If you have an IT team, transform their skill sets to deal with advanced attacks, network infrastructures, SaaS tools and more and make your organization and associated data as secure as possible. With such talent transformation, you could ensure any infrastructure loophole is patched and that no endpoints are left loose with vulnerabilities. Besides, you also don’t need to rely on 3rd parties and vendors for security and rather instantaneously look into threats and attacks in house.

Parting Thoughts
Attackers thrive on the element of surprise and if you’re prepared with the right tools, skills and mindsets, you could avoid 90% of the cyber threats. While we are dealing with a crisis like war, the least you would want to indulge in is fighting another one with attacks and exploitations on systems and networks. Implement these steps and secure your business, data and people.

CybersecurityUNext Learning
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