The Threat of Russian Cyber Action Heightens [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

As the world responds to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the threat of retaliation continues to build. And one of the most concerning actions that Russia could carry out is a cyberattack on its opponents, which is exactly what the United States and the European Union are currently preparing for.

While speaking at the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting last week, President Biden warned that it was important for American businesses to focus on strengthening their cybersecurity measures considering the current events unfolding. According to CNN, he stated at one point, “The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming.” This sense of urgency comes as further intelligence on the possibility of a cyber incident evolves. Although details have not been shared, Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser, confirmed during a briefing that Russia has been conducting what was described as “preparatory activity,” such as vulnerability scanning. In addition to businesses, the US departments of Energy, Treasury and Homeland Security have been turning their attention to working with other sectors like electric utilities and banks to ensure that the proper precautions are in place.

Alongside the United States, the EU is also taking its own steps to safeguard from a potential Russian-led cyberattack. PYMNTS reported that it recently prioritized the introduction of new cybersecurity rules in the wake of the situation in Ukraine and the threat attached to incidents like an attempted breach of the ViaSat satellite-based internet access provider to disrupt Ukrainian military communications. The rules are centered around upgrading resilience and response mechanisms and include regulations for EU institutions to implement cybersecurity governance frameworks that allow them to look for and report any suspicious events. It is the EU’s intention to create “horizontal cybersecurity requirements and common standards for digital products,” according to PYMNT’s coverage.

While Russia is under surveillance, one Russian organization has already been deemed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission as an “unacceptable risk to national security.” That organization is Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. As an article for Mashable explained, this classification stems from the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, which requires the FCC to publish a list of services that may come with risk. Joining companies like Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hikvision, and Dahua on that list means that Kaspersky will be excluded from any of the agency’s support.

Key Takeaways:

“Biden warns business leaders to prepare for Russian cyber attacks” – Maegan Vazquez, Donald Judd, Sean Lyngaas and Zachary Cohen, CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/21/politics/biden-russia-cyber-activity/index.html

  • While speaking at the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting last week, President Biden warned that it was important for American businesses to focus on strengthening their cybersecurity measures considering the current events unfolding.
  • According to CNN, he stated at one point, “The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming.” 
  • Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser, confirmed during a briefing that Russia has been conducting what was described as “preparatory activity.”

“EU to Boost Cybersecurity Rules as Risk of Cyberattacks Looms” – PYMNTS

https://www.pymnts.com/cybersecurity/2022/eu-to-boost-cybersecurity-rules-as-risk-of-cyberattacks-looms/

  • The EU is also taking its own steps to safeguard from a potential Russian-led cyberattack.
  • PYMNTS reported that it recently prioritized the introduction of new cybersecurity rules in the wake of the situation in Ukraine.
  • The rules are centered around upgrading resilience and response mechanisms and include regulations for EU institutions to implement cybersecurity governance frameworks.

“FCC flags Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky as a risk to national security” – Jennimai Nguyen, Mashable

https://mashable.com/article/fcc-bans-kaspersky-antivirus

  • The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has deemed Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky an “unacceptable risk to national security.”
  • This classification stems from the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, which requires the FCC to publish a list of services that may come with risk.
  • Joining companies like Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hikvision, and Dahua on that list means that Kaspersky will be excluded from any of the agency’s support.
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