Now, more than ever, is the time to tighten up cyber-security. This week Homeland Security announced that malware from Russia was discovered that “exploited network devices, primarily small office/home office routers and network-attached storage devices.” An FBI cyber official said that U.S. businesses and local governments be especially vigilant for ransomware attacks in light of the recent Russian disruptive cyberattacks in Ukraine.
What does this mean for municipalities? Although many entities have undergone cyber safety training, it’s a good time to double-check cyber-safe practices.
-Ensure that anti-virus software is running and updated on each of your computers.
-Install firewall software on computers and install a physical firewall, a piece of equipment installed between your network and the Internet, that controls incoming and outgoing traffic on the server.
-Use additional security measures such as two-factor authentication, where a code from an external device or app is used in addition to a password.
-Keep up on software updates, known as patches, to fix vulnerabilities in software that hackers might be able to use to get into computer systems.
-Back up data regularly and keep a copy off-site.
-Change passwords periodically to ones that include letters, numbers, and symbols.
-It may be time to contract with a company responsible for ensuring computer systems and data are sufficiently protected.
There’s no doubt that a hacker has tried to get into your data already. Make safe cyber practices a priority in your organization to prevent a breach of your valuable information or a possible shutdown of services.