Today marks the second anniversary of our newsletter #BeCyberSafe coincidentally, my birthday (I will be accepting presents all month, and cash is welcome if you were wondering) is tomorrow.
In commemorating the start of our newsletter, I would like to reflect on the past two years of cyber security through the stories we reported on.
As we approach this year’s Super Bowl, it’s interesting to remember that in February of 2021, we featured a story about the cyber attack on the water supply in Oldsmar, FL, 12 miles from where the Super Bowl was to be played two days later. (BTW, I’m not as old as the Super Bowl. That would be our COO, thank you very much). This attempt was the first in a series of high-profile attacks on our critical infrastructure.
Not long after that, we reported on the third cyber attack in ten months on the Unemployment System in the State of Kentucky. Another example of an assault that impacts people who are the most at risk.
To help those in need, Commonwealth Sentinel launched a cyber security grant program for non-profits. Later in the year, we announced that the Franklin County Humane Society was our first recipient.
March of 2021 saw one of the more widespread software vulnerabilities we have all experienced: Microsoft Exchange. It served as a great example of the importance of patching on a timely basis. It’s also an example is closing the barn door after the horse escapes. You cannot simply fix (close the barn door) without checking to see if your horse escaped (if anyone is in your system or /data is missing). Patching is good but not enough. You need to check for unauthorized users and malware continually. These were repeated themes over the last two years.
“This is a cyber cancer.”
Another “close to home” story came when we reported on the ransomware attack on the city of Frankfort. These stories are not just theoretical. They happen every day, everywhere…even in Kentucky.
The next big critical infrastructure attack came from the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, which resulted in panic and fuel shortages across the Eastern US. The domino effect of this attack resulted in LIFARS CEO saying, “This is a cyber cancer.” That summed it up perfectly as people.
Over the next several months, we continued to offer advice and tips on protecting your organization and your home networks through the ebbs and flows of a global pandemic.
Then last year, we experienced the impacts and saw the threats of cyber attacks as part of wartime as Russia invaded Ukraine.
We continued to talk about the many facets of cyber security, including the changing environment of cyber insurance. The day we were waiting for finally came in September of last year when the State and Local Cyber Security Grant Program (SLCGP) was open for applicants. We worked with ADDs, county governments, and school districts to help them prepare their grant applications. Now we wait, and wait, and wait…
After two years of reporting on critical infrastructure, government, and school system attacks, major patch releases, cyber warfare, and the significant changes in cyber insurance, I hope you feel we have provided valuable and actionable information and that you better prepared.
Cyber security is an ever-changing concern. The ultimate goal of cyber maturity is reached through continually learning and discussing the changes. Learning what works best and keeping everyone informed and part of the team.
Happy Birthday “BeCyberSafe”…here’s to many more years of Cyber Security!