The FBI Anchorage Field Office has recently launched a cybersecurity awareness campaign aimed at educating private sector businesses and organizations in Alaska about the escalating threat of cyberattacks. The campaign seeks to encourage these organizations to establish proactive relationships with their local FBI field office in order to enhance their cyber defenses and response plans. With Alaska’s vast size and geographic importance, collaborative efforts and increased awareness are crucial for protecting the state’s infrastructure in this target-rich environment. The campaign includes various initiatives such as media engagements, social media posts, and presentations to local businesses and organizations throughout Alaska. Additionally, FBI special agents will continue to educate private sector partners on critical topics, including critical infrastructure attacks, ransomware, and supply chain attacks. The FBI emphasizes the importance of promptly engaging with the agency in the event of a cyber incident, as swift communication can significantly impact data recovery efforts.
FBI Anchorage Field Office Launches Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign
The FBI Anchorage Field Office has recently launched a cybersecurity awareness campaign with the aim of educating private sector businesses and organizations in Alaska about the increasing threat of cyberattacks. The campaign also seeks to encourage these entities to establish proactive relationships with their local FBI field office for better cybersecurity measures. Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office emphasizes the importance of partnering with the FBI to enhance organizations’ cyber defenses and response plans against cyberattacks, particularly in Alaska, a target-rich environment due to its vast size and geographic importance.
To effectively deliver its message, the awareness campaign will engage in various activities, including media engagements, social media posts, and presentations to local businesses and organizations throughout Alaska. FBI special agents will work diligently to educate private sector partners about cyber threats, focusing on critical infrastructure attacks, ransomware incidents, and supply chain attacks, all of which have become prevalent and pose significant risks.
Critical Infrastructure Attacks
The private sector manages a significant portion of the nation’s critical infrastructure, intellectual property, and personal data. As a result, both large corporations and small businesses have become frequent targets of cyberattacks. In 2021, the country experienced an unprecedented surge in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, necessitating increased awareness and preventive measures.
Cybercriminals and nation-state actors have increasingly breached private networks and deployed ransomware. This malicious software encrypts victims’ data, leading to the demand for ransom payments in exchange for unlocking the encrypted information. It is crucial for victims to establish swift communication with the FBI in the event of a ransomware incident, as the FBI’s involvement can positively impact data recovery efforts. However, it is important to note that the FBI does not recommend paying ransoms, as doing so can encourage more criminal activity, and businesses may still suffer the consequences of a cyberattack.
Supply Chain Attacks
The strength of a business’s cybersecurity heavily relies on the security measures implemented by its trusted vendors. Supply chains have increasingly become points of vulnerability for computer intrusions. To enhance cybersecurity, the FBI highly recommends that companies and entities engage with their local FBI field office. By meeting with the FBI before a compromise occurs, companies can gain insight into potential threats specific to their operations. Additionally, these engagements provide a deeper understanding of how the FBI protects victims’ confidentiality, assesses the severity of compromises, and helps prevent re-infection while identifying those responsible for malicious cyber activities.
In addition to partnering with the local FBI office, companies and organizations should implement several preventive steps to strengthen their cybersecurity measures and protect against cyberattacks:
- Regularly update and patch operating systems and software to ensure the latest security features and fixes are in place.
- Implement robust access controls, especially for privileged users. This helps restrict unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data.
- Monitor security logs continuously to detect and respond promptly to any suspicious activities or anomalies.
- Conduct regular audits of trusted third parties or individuals who have access to systems and sensitive data to ensure their compliance with security protocols.
- Enforce the use of strong, unique passwords for each account and implement multifactor authentication wherever possible. Passwords should be changed regularly to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
- Educate personnel about phishing schemes and the risks associated with clicking on suspicious links, opening suspicious attachments, and visiting untrusted websites.
- Maintain offline backups of critical data and regularly test the restoration capabilities to ensure data recovery in the event of a cyber incident.
- Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity incident response plan that includes collaboration with the FBI. This will facilitate a coordinated and efficient response in the event of a compromise.
- If an organization becomes compromised, it is crucial to contact the FBI immediately to report the incident and seek assistance in mitigating the damage.
For businesses and organizations in Alaska, the FBI Anchorage Field Office can be contacted at (907) 276-4441. Reports of internet crimes can be submitted at www.ic3.gov, while other suspicious criminal activity can be reported at tips.fbi.gov.
The FBI also provides additional resources to assist businesses and individuals in combating cyber threats and ensuring cybersecurity:
- The Cyber Threat
- Business and Industry: Partners in Our Cyber Mission
- Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
- Kidnappings / Missing Persons
- Seeking Information
- Bank Robbers
- FBI Jobs
By actively engaging with these resources and following the recommended preventive measures, businesses and organizations can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. The FBI’s cybersecurity awareness campaign in the Anchorage Field Office serves as a crucial step in building proactive relationships and fostering a collaborative effort to protect Alaska’s infrastructure and sensitive information from cyber threats.