WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Joe Biden issued a new warning about “evolving intelligence” that Russia will launch potential cyberattacks against the U.S.
- Biden urged private companies to “harden your cyber defenses immediately” so data can’t be stolen.
- The administration said it’s working to improve domestic cybersecurity in preparation against cyberattacks.
President Joe Biden said Monday that the White House has “evolving intelligence” that Russia is “exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”
“It’s part of Russia’s playbook,” Biden said in a statement on the nation’s cybersecurity..
Biden also urged private sector companies to “harden your cyber defenses immediately.” He said that the potential “malicious cyber activity” against the U.S. is Russia’s response to the economic sanctions imposed on their country.
The private sectors mostly controlled the nation’s critical infrastructure which makes the government’s ability limited in securing its digital borders, the POTUS said.
To protect business data, the White House is urging companies to strengthen multi-factor authentication, update security software and tools, secure data backups, and improve routine training drills.
The White House has been warning about possible cyber warfare between the US and Russia even before the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
Microsoft researchers discovered that 58% of the nation-state cyberattacks observed over a 12-month period originated from Russia.
If Russia is successful in its cyber warfare, it will affect US national security, according to a memo from Goldman Sachs. The banking company noted the cyber attacks will specifically impact the IT infrastructure in the critical sectors of energy, financial services, or transportation.
“My administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone,” Biden said.
“Your vigilance and urgency today can prevent or mitigate attacks tomorrow,” he added.
In 2017, Russia’s cyberattack on Ukraine caused over $10 billion in damage, about 10% of the Ukrainian economy during that time, according to a US assessment.