(Reuters) – The White House warned executives and executives on Thursday to step up security measures to protect against ransomware attacks after intrusion disrupts the operations of a meat packaging company and a southeastern oil pipeline.
There has been a significant migration in the frequency and magnitude of ransomware attacks, says Anne Neuberger, Cyber Security Adviser at the National Security Council, in a letter.
"Threats are serious and increasing. We urge you to take these critical steps to protect your organizations and the American public," she added.
Recent cyberattacks have forced companies to view ransomware as a threat to their core business and not just data theft, because ransomware attacks have shifted from stealing to disrupting operations, she said. [1
"The private sector has also a responsibility to protect against these threats. All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being exposed to ransomware, regardless of size or location, "Neuberger wrote.
The letter came after a major meat packer resumed US operations on Wednesday following a ransomware attack that disrupted meat production. in North America and Australia.
A Russian-linked hacking group known as REvil and Sodinokibi was behind the cyber attack on JBS SA, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The cyber attack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which paralyzed fuel supplies for several days in the southeastern United States.
President Biden believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a role to play in preventing these attacks and planned to address the issue. during their summit this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
Neuberger's letter outlined immediate measures that companies can take to protect themselves against ransomware attacks, which can have ripple effects far beyond the company and its customers.
These include best practices such as multifactor authentication, endpoint detection and response, encryption, and a skilled security team. Companies should back up data and regularly test systems, as well as update and correct systems immediately.
Ms. Neuberger recommended that companies test contingency plans and use a third party to test the work of the security team.
She said that it was important that company functions and production operations were run on separate networks.