The recent global cyberattack that affected thousands of computers worldwide and hampered major companies including A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and Merck & Co. Inc. has raised the attention level of cybersecurity professionals looking for ways to help stop the crippling strikes.
It isn’t only multinationals that felt the wrath of the hackers. DLA Piper, which as of June 26 is the second largest firm in the U.S. according to the National Law Journal, was also a target of the attack. The large law firm put out a notice July 2 that there was “no evidence that client data was taken,” but that their investigation is ongoing.
Cybersecurity researchers from international organizations, the U.S. government, and the private-sector have all been working on ways to help stop the spread of these massive cyberattacks against companies.
One solution to help stop the spread of these attacks is to follow basic cybersecurity procedures that any company—large or small—can easily adopt, cybersecurity pros recently told Bloomberg BNA in the wake of the Petya and WannaCry ransomware attacks. For example, companies should routinely backup their sensitive data files and critical systems to ensure business continuity. Companies should also implement cybersecurity awareness training for all employees, engage in vulnerability assessment programs, and have an incident response plan in place, the cybersecurity pros said.
Congress may have yet another solution. The bipartisan Promoting Good Cyber Hygiene Act (H.R. 3010), introduced June 22 by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), would instruct the National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Homeland Security, to provide a set of voluntary best practices that would be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. The bill would also require DHS to study internet of things cybersecurity risks. Companion legislation was also introduced in the Senate by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
As “cyberattacks threaten our economy and inflict untold damage on thousands of” U.S. citizens, basic cybersecurity protocols and best practices “can prevent many of these attacks,” Hatch said in a June 29 statement. Markey said in a statement that the bill would “establish best practices for good cyber hygiene such as two factor authentication, an important step that will help” the U.S. prevent the growing cyberattack risk.
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