NewsHillsborough County

Actions

President Biden warns of Russian Cyberattack, tells companies to be digitally prepared

Multi-Factor Authentication screen
Posted at 5:16 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 16:07:13-04

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s been nearly a month since Russia invaded Ukraine and the impact of the war for most Americans has been felt from afar. But, Monday the Biden Administration announced a Russian cyberattack ‘is coming” and companies should be prepared before it is too late.

The Bay Area has dealt with an infrastructure cyberattack before. A water facility in Oldsmar was hacked at the end of 2020 and drinking water was poisoned. Fortunately, officials figured it out before that water made it to people's homes.

They’re all scouting every network around the world, especially here in the United States, from other countries and if they find something; they find an avenue to get in. Then they’re going to start trying passwords and things like that until they break-in,” said Duarte Pereira, the Chief Technology Officer at FiTechGelb.

Experts said multi-factor authentication is the first line of defense.

RELATED:
Local cyber security experts warn about possible cyber attacks as a result of the Russia, Ukraine war

“Even though they broke in with a username or password, somebody still needs to allow that, to allow that connection,” he said. “If you don’t say allow, they cannot login.”

Businesses, cities, and counties are using multi-factor authentication too, Pereira said. They are likely limiting employee access to their systems too. Plus, he said they are making sure their software and servers are up to date and segregating their networks so they don’t comingle.

He believes insurers may be what’s pushing more companies to better invest in security.

Before they used to ask where are your servers and how many people? Now they ask do you implement multi-factor authentication, your back up — is it offsite, do you have it encrypted?” he said. “They have a very detailed oriented questionnaire that if somebody is applying or even renewing their cyber security insurance they have to obey the rules or to the minimum.”

There are ways to protect yourself too. Use multi-factor authentication when you can, whether that’s for your social media accounts or e-mail, never use the same username or password for multiple websites, and keep your software and operating system updated.

Get more cybersecurity tips here.