Companies must prepare for more Russian cyber activity, experts warn

U.S. companies should prepare for cyber blowback as President Biden imposes sanctions on Russia for its ongoing aggression in Ukraine, experts said.

On Tuesday afternoon, President Biden said his administration would levy sanctions on two Russian financial institutions, its sovereign debt and elite individuals in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s movement of troops into the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s virtual CIO Network Summit event on Tuesday, Rep. Jim Langevin (D., R.I.), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he is taking an “all hands on deck approach” to prepare for possible cyber retaliation against the U.S.

“We have to be realistic and understand that as we impose sanctions—we take actions—there could be blowback here,” said Rep. Langevin.

In preparing for possible cyberattacks, Rep. Langevin said, “private companies also have a role to play.” He said they should be implementing testing procedures to back up and restore data, instituting multifactor authentication on devices connected to their networks, ensuring software is up-to-date and patching known vulnerabilities.

Theresa Payton, founder and CEO of Fortalice Solutions and former CIO of the White House under President George W. Bush, said companies should consider locking accounts after two or three failed login attempts.

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