As the world focuses on the outcome of the contentious Presidential race between Trump and Clinton, the US government is on high alert for potential Election Day cyber attacks. The current global cyber climate, this summer’s Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee, and a recent string of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have intelligence officials highly concerned that cyber event(s) could seriously infringe on today’s election process.
As we covered in last week’s Cyber Tuesday blog, FBI Director James Comey believes that the American voting system is too “dispersed” and “clunky” to have a cyber attack threaten the entire election. However, the US government has hundreds of military and intelligence cyber experts monitoring the election to defend the nation’s Internet infrastructure. The thought is, vote tampering is unlikely but hackers can spread false information about the election through social media; disrupt online services with DDOS attacks; and take advantage of web surfers seeking election information through phishing attempts and fraudulent websites.
With the US government on such high alert, organizations and its employees should be prepared, too.
- Ensure full backups of your infrastructure, data and databases are complete and tested for recovery;
- Confirm that all servers and PCs have been patched and are running the latest security updates from the manufacturer;
- Have your Incident Response Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan at the ready. If a cyber event does occur, the timeliness of an organization’s response could significantly reduce the financial and reputation impact;
- Understand how and when to submit a cyber-related insurance claim. Claims reporting information should be included in the incident response plan, and the reliance on a well-designed cyber insurance program may save the organization from a catastrophic cyber loss;
- Instruct your staff to be on high alert. An elevated amount of random phishing attempts may occur in the coming days. Making sure your workforce is aware is a great way to stop ransomware attacks.
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