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NCSC Warns Of Heightened Cyber Threat

By 18th March 2022Blog

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned organisations and individuals to be extra vigilant about cyber security, in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  The heightened threat levels are a direct result of historical cyber-attacks on Ukraine, which have had international consequences.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued a joint advisory with the NCSC to warn about the WhisperGate, IsaacWiper and HermeticWiper malware, which has been used to target organisations in Ukraine. The malware is designed to be destructive, and render targeted devices inoperable.

John Edwards of the Information Commissioner’s Office told The Guardian that cybercriminals are likely to target the UK, in retaliation for the sanctions that have recently been imposed on Russia.

Edwards said: “We have picked up on that heightened threat environment and we think it’s really important to take the opportunity to remind businesses of the importance of security over the data that they hold. This is a different era from blacking out the windows and keeping the lights off. The threats are going to come in through your inbox.”

He added: “They may be from state actors as part of an offensive or they may be organised crime or they may be some nuisance vandal hackers. It doesn’t matter. What we need to keep doing is with the NCSC and the National Crime Agency amplify the message that cybersecurity is not a question of do it once and forget it. It’s about all-the-time vigilance.”

Organisations are reminded to ensure their servers are patched and up to date at all times, and warn staff to be extra vigilant for phishing emails, reporting them to the IT department rather than deleting them. Access controls should be reviewed, and updated to remove any unused or unrecognised accounts. An incident response plan should also be put in place.

 

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