Brian Linder is a Workforce Security Expert and the Head of Cyber Evangelists for Check Point’s Office of the CTO.

In the US and the EU, enterprise are scaling-up prevention and defense measures to guard against nation-state backed cyber attacks. Leaders have loosely warned that digital strikes could lead to a “cyber-apocalypse,” involving disruptions to the electrical grid, banking system failures, or other destructive outcomes.

The uncomfortable truth is that cyber warfare has arrived and some expect that it may escalate. It shows no sign of slowing down. Although the most influential cyber security battles will likely play out in the shadows, disinformation, espionage and sabotage still have the potential to harm individual firms and their communities.

In this time of geopolitical conflict, address the potential for nation-state attacks. Leverage the following measures to safeguard your organization, and your world.

1. Leverage artificial intelligence.

Malware evolves at a devilish pace, and the geometric growth of connected devices combined with petabytes of proprietary data make it impracticable, if not impossible, for humans to provide comprehensive security protection. Incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into your security architecture. AI can actively prevent both known and zero-day attacks, and can serve as a cost-effective alternative to malware remediation.

2. Turn to threat intelligence.

Real-time threat intelligence libraries provide security professionals with knowledge about industry-focused attacks and payloads, especially in instances where delayed action could result in a security breach. Shared knowledge results in stronger defensive plays, enabling organizations to achieve a higher tier of security.

3. Segment your network.

In some war-torn regions of the world, physical homes are segmented as to prevent intruders from reaching back rooms. This can limit theft potential, and can prevent physical harm. Network segmentation prevents virtual intruders from accessing digital crown jewels and from enacting digital harm. Segment your networks.

As a complementary or supplementary means of fortifying network defenses, your organization may also wish to consider the use of honeypot decoys, which can give hackers a literal run-around. Honeypots can cause hacker tools to fail, and can lead hackers astray within your network; protecting your most valuable data, resources and assets.

4. Introduce better email security.

Ninety-five percent of successful cyber attacks targeting enterprise networks involve spear phishing. Stop 30% more malicious emails than previously with email security that offers malware protection, click time URL protection, and supply chain attack prevention. Sadly, it just takes a single email to bring down an entire organization.

5. Ready your IR plan.

An incident response (IR) plan maximizes mitigation efficiency in the event of a cyber security breach. To ensure the plan’s functionality, familiarize yourself with every step of the plan and ensure that your organization conducts a cyber security incident “drill” while following the plan.

In conclusion

In our rapidly evolving threat landscape, nine out of ten leaders believe that their organization deserves a failing grade when it comes to keeping pace with cyber threats. In response, organizations should expand cyber security budgets, which can be used to invest in tools that can close security gaps.

A fundamental distinction between regular hackers and state-sponsored cyber criminals is that the latter take a persistent, determined approach. Average security prevention and defense mechanisms will not undermine their endeavors. Nation-state backed hackers have the time, tools and budget to circumnavigate uncomplicated security set-ups.

This is your opportunity to show that your prevention and defense mechanisms are beyond average. Exceed state-sponsored hackers’ expectations in regards to your security. In the process, you’ll exceed your own expectations.

For more insights like this, please see our past coverage. Lastly, to receive cutting-edge cyber security news, insights, best practices and analyses in your inbox each week, sign up for the newsletter.