As the world watches war unfold in Ukraine, support appears near and far. But, there is another potential attack to watch for on the cyber front. CISA has issued a Shields Up message, saying what is unfolding overseas could impact us at home. However, there are some proactive things you can do to avoid potential breaches or threats.

First, reduce the likelihood of a damaging cyber intrusion. IntelliSystems CEO Kevin Wade says think two-factor authentication.

“Not only a username and a password, but something that identifies you as you. So, it could be an app that runs on your mobile device, or it gives you a number that’s only good for a minute, or maybe it’s a fob that you have to carry.” said Wade.

Next, turning off non-essential ports and protocols.

“There's certain things that you'll have to open up for specific applications and that's okay. But, know that, you know, if it’s a remote access product, you know, anybody that uses a specific remote access product uses that port.” said Wade.

Wade also suggests lowering the reporting threshold. This means seemingly smaller threats take new priority.

“Maybe what would have not been a big deal before, we get these phishing emails a lot of us all the time, we get even phone calls where there's an attempt to try to trick someone into doing something they might not do, it’s important to report these to the cyber professionals in your organization and make other users aware of it.”

Now, some threats can be harder to detect.

"In the old days, you used to be able to spot phishing email because it had broken English or maybe a graphic looked blurry for like your bank. Now they've gotten really good. A lot of times it looks exactly like the real thing. If you're not expecting it, don't click on it."

Wade says even your cloud can be at risk.

“They can be hacked as well. We’ve seen companies that their cloud provider was hacked and it caused them issues where they were not able to work.”

Remember, Wade says, always have a strong password.

“Don’t reuse passwords on all your devices. You can use a password product in order to create very difficult passwords.”

Plus, don't forget about your backup. 

"A key thing that a lot of people miss is making sure your backup systems are working and that they are being tested and that someone has actually on a regular basis is verifying it could be restored if it had to be."

You can report cyber incidents to [email protected] or (888) 282-0870.

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