March 23– Earlier this week, the Biden administration warned US enterprises about imminent cyber attacks.
The latest reports indicate that nation-state hackers have been conducting “abnormal scanning” of the networks belonging to five prominent US energy companies in what may be a possible prelude to larger cyber compromises.
In addition, at least 18 US companies across other industry sectors -from defense to financial services- have encountered network scanning attempts, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger says that preparatory strike activity is likely “not about espionage,” but rather portends to “disruptive or destructive [cyber] activity”.
The magnitude of the threat
“The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” said President Biden in a statement. Utility companies look like a primary target.
In 2017, a Saudi petrochemical plant was forced to temporarily shut down due to a cyber hacking groups’ infiltration. Experts indicate that the same hacking group may be responsible for several recent US utility organization probes.
Notably, an attack on critical infrastructure could be construed as an act of war, which may give pause to nation-state backed actors who are exploring attack opportunities within this sector.
At the same time, sophisticated threat actors may be able to hide their origins, making it impossible for investigative teams to attribute the attack and to thereby determine who to target in response.
An approach to energy security
In an off-the-record meeting earlier this week, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon –who is one of the most influential US business leaders- urged the Biden administration to roll out a “Marshall Plan” to strengthen the energy sector’s security across both the United States and Europe.
Dimon advocates for the federal government to focus on four unique areas:
- Increasing natural gas production, with an emphasis on an environmentally responsible approach
- Developing additional liquefied natural gas facilities in Europe
- Investing in new technology for hydrogen and carbon capture resources
- Streamlining the permit process for renewable energy alternatives, such as wind and solar energy
In this moment of cyber uncertainty, secure your enterprise, your critical infrastructure and your digital assets. Right now, it’s our collective responsibility to protect and defend against cyber attacks.
Layer your security as much as possible, making it difficult for hackers to get in. Adopting new methodologies can help you achieve a heightened cyber security posture and ensure cyber security success.
- Get ransomware best practice information via CyberTalk.org’s ransomware eBook.
- Leverage insights from this Gartner report.
- Supplement your knowledge concerning RDoS attacks here.
- These zero-trust security insights can augment your identity access and control program.
Be sure to catch this upcoming webinar with timely information presented by trusted security experts. Register here.
Lastly, reduce the cyber security guesswork by reaching out to your cyber security vendor or get in touch with Check Point representatives.