Stay Calm but Vigilant: How to Protect Yourself from Russian Cyber Attacks

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Stay Calm but Vigilant: How to Protect Yourself from Russian Cyber Attacks

Through both state-sponsored and independent actors, Russia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cyberattacks. Now with Russian forces on the offensive and much of the Western world imposing sanctions, cybersecurity experts are on heightened alert for attacks on government entities, infrastructure targets and private citizens and businesses.

What does that mean for you? Do you need to hit the panic button and disconnect entirely?

No. Heightened alert is good. Panic is not. Here is what you can do right now.

Stay vigilant.
Protecting yourself and your business starts with being alert. We share some links below for reminders of what to look for and how to play defense against threats. While this situation is ongoing, don’t let your guard down.

Plan for restrictions and rules.
Sanctions and restrictions mean some new rules around doing international business.

  • All debit, credit and purchasing card transactions involving businesses or financial institutions in Russia and Ukraine are prohibited by the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control. This could lead to card transactions being declined if they involve those nations.
  • All incoming and outgoing ACH transactions involving Russia and Ukraine will be returned or blocked. That includes PayPal and Venmo transactions.
  • Wire activity involving Russia, Belarus or Ukraine carries additional risk (including, without limitation, rejection or blocking and turnover of certain funds) while this situation is ongoing.

Keep up with the latest updates
The U.S. Treasury is imposing new sanctions and restrictions on a daily basis. You can learn more about OFAC’s Sanctions Program here.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has a webpage dedicated to the Russian threat that includes alerts, resources and regular updates about what’s happening. 

Bookmark and share these cybersecurity resources.
The most common front for attack on individuals and the organizations they work for is email. If you are safe in your email practices, you will be most of the way toward full protection. Take a look at these resources Pinnacle has put together to learn more about safe email practices, password management, how to respond to a hack and other cybersecurity practices that could be life savers.

  • Webinar: Email Inspection – Mindless clicking of email links is extremely dangerous. Learn how to quickly analyze emails and determine how to act with discipline, not negligence.
  • Webinar: Anatomy of a Link – Any link sent to you by email, text or any other means represents a potentially devastating risk. This is what to look for before you click.
  • Business Email Compromise: A Big Problem – The most common scam you’ve never heard of. Read this to learn what you should do if your CEO or CFO or accountant emails you out of nowhere with a strange request.
  • Webinar: Staying Safe in Your Digital World – Protecting your data and digital assets should be a top priority. Learn about several cybersecurity risks and how to keep yourself from becoming a victim.
  • Password Management – You have a lot of passwords and have to change them regularly. How can you keep them safe and keep track? Follow this advice.
  • Webinar: Social Media Safety – Emails and texts aren’t the only ways to hack your information. Staying safe on social media takes vigilance even while you’re zoning out.
  • Webinar: What to Do If You’ve Been Hacked – Even the most cautious people can still fall victim to hackers. This is what to do if it happens to you.

Quick Links