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June 21, 2016

Don't Wait For 'The West' to Stop Hackers

It’s official: The recent hack of the Democratic National Committee was carried out jointly by hackers with close ties to the Russian government and another unknown group.

The cyberattack, which was intended to obtain critical intelligence about the Democratic presidential field for the Kremlin, was the latest case of cyberespionage involving state-sponsored Russian hackers. It should serve as a stark reminder that Russia is becoming increasingly bold with its cyber activities and shows no sign of reversing this course of action.

According to U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Russia’s aggressive cyber strategy is something that the West needs to start taking very seriously.

“Russian cyberattacks rank as the greatest threat to the United States’ national security,” Clapper stated.

Clapper is referring to Russia’s ability to not only engage in stealthy cyberespionage, but also to deploy sophisticated denial-of-service attacks using dangerous malware. To get a sense of the level of sophistication that we are referring to, consider this excerpt from a Newsweek article which claimed that Russia’s greatest weapon may very well be its hackers:

“Among the most frightening new-generation cyberweapons are those designed to target super-secure, so-called ‘air-gapped’ systems that have no links to the Internet or outside networks.”

As is to be expected, many experts—like professor Jamo Limnell of Aalto University in Finland—are taking Clapper’s hard-line stance and are calling on the West to develop more effective strategies for dealing with Russian cyber warfare.

“The West needs to develop effective ways to deal with Russia’s cyber warfare which is becoming more sophisticated and aggressive,” Limnell recently said. “Otherwise the West is sending a wrong message to [the] Kremlin, who will utilize the cyber domain [in an] even more severe way.”

It’s important for business leaders to understand, though, that this call to action for “the West” is not just geared toward lawmakers and cybersecurity experts. Every business leader needs to follow suit and take strong measures to protect sensitive data like financial information and trade secrets.

Don’t wait for Uncle Sam to magically make cybercrime disappear. The problem is not going away. Your business needs to take a multipronged approach to cybersecurity which involves fortifying your critical infrastructure with regular security updates, using real-time monitoring services to detect suspicious activity and educating your employees about the dangers that lurk online.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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