American businesses should expect and prepare for a tsunami of cyberattacks and security breaches related to the Russian government retaliating for American sanctions after it invaded Ukraine.
American President Joe Biden said this week that the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting sanctions on aggressor Russia, may lead to a rash of cybersecurity breaches unleashed by the Kremlin and other quasi-official sources in Russia.
Biden said that his administration has “evolving intelligence” that cyber warfare will be part of Russia’s striking back against American sanctions.
What Businesses Should Expect From Russia
There have likely already been several high-level attacks of key sectors in the U.S., including critical infrastructure like refineries, natural gas providers and even manufacturers of things like microchips.
TheStreet covered that more in depth in a two-part series here. The type of hacking, breaches and thefts of huge chunks of data could disable major parts of the American economy.
“The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” Biden said in a speech this week.
But more extensive and public attacks are coming, Biden said, and American business owners need to be ready.
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“One of the tools (Putin’s) most likely to use, in my view, in our view, is cyber attacks. They have a very sophisticated cyber capability,” he said ” … The point is that he has the capability. He hasn’t used it yet, but it’s part of his playbook.”
Businesses Must Prepare Themselves for Cyber Warfare, Biden Says
Businesses who are alert and prepared for cybersecurity attacks may fare best, Biden said during remarks at the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting in Washington.
Biden went so far as to call preparing for cyber warfare a “patriotic obligation” that could help the American effort to aid Ukraine thus far.
“[It is] a patriotic obligation that you invest as much as you can in making sure — and we will help in any way — that you have built up your technological capacity to deal with cyber attacks,” he said.
Here’s How Businesses Can Protect Themselves From Russian Cyberattacks
But because Russia’s technological warfare was advanced enough to interfere with the 2016 election, it’s likely that the American business sector will suffer substantially — and soon — from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to disrupt U.S. corporate life as much as possible.
Most importantly, the Biden administration said, was keeping the largely privately-owned infrastructure of the United States up and running by safeguarding digital assets now.
“Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors,” an administration statement said.
“The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been actively working with organizations across critical infrastructure to rapidly share information and mitigation guidance to help protect their systems and networks,” the statement said.