SAN JOSE, Calif. – Following a warning from the Biden administration, Silicon Valley is bracing for a Russian cyberattack.
Ray Rothrock, a cybersecurity expert and longtime investor, says companies are on high alert.
“If you already don’t have a strategy, if you already aren’t working on the problem, then it’s probably too late,” Rothrock says.
In fact, the head of cybersecurity strategy at VM Ware says, Russia has deployed four different pieces of destructive malware over the past three months.
“Unprecedented deployment of malware that’s capable of overriding computers and files and essentially taking your computer back to the dark ages,” says Tom Kellermann, of VM Ware.
This at a time when Silicon Valley companies are already fending off bands of cyber criminals. Microsoft and Okta are currently investigating potential breaches. Nvidia did the same last month.
“Cyberattack is part of the deal, whether its Russia or another country that’s part of being in the technology age,” says Ahmed Banafa, a cybersecurity expert at San Jose State University.
So the government has begun sharing information and putting out alerts, allowing companies to defend themselves in real time.
Still there is a fear amongst security experts that anyone from the energy sector to the financial sector could be vulnerable.
“We just need to understand that in the future 100% prevention is not possible. Encryption won’t save you. Firewalls are not effective against this type of threat,” says Kellermann.
“It’s about what do you do when you’re attacked, How do you respond? What’s your backup plan?” says Rothrock.
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Experts advise you patch any vulnerabilities now, use two-factor authentication, and test your backups.
It’s advice they say applies to individuals too.
“Ninety-nine percent of the successful cyberattacks start with you or me or anybody else accidently or on purpose hitting the email that you should never have hit,” says Rothrock.