U.S. bracing for cyberattack risks as Russia-Ukraine conflict persists

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself online

The United States is on high alert for cyberattacks, leaving many Americans uneasy about their safety online.

The United States is on high alert for cyberattacks, leaving many Americans uneasy about their safety online. Since the conflict with Russia began, reports say Ukraine has already faced cyberattacks, including banks and government agencies being targeted.

“Good news is so far, Russia has not launched the level of cyberattacks that we expected. For example, they’ve not shut down the power systems, the water systems. They’ve not shut down the communication system,” said Senator Mark Warner.

The U.S. is on high alert for cyberattacks as well, and while Warner says the government, businesses, hospitals and schools should be vigilant, there’s no need for Americans to overreact.

“This should not be panic mode. We have built strong systems, and even if the bad guys get in. We can get our systems back up really quickly, our reliance is much stronger,” the senator added.

As far as individuals protecting themselves from any potential cyber threat, a local cyber security expert weighed in.

“Turn off location features on things like your cell phone, keep your applications and software up to date. Create really strong passwords or use a password manager. Use MFA or two-factor authentication, use anti-virus, Firewall, these kinds of things to block threats,” said Eric Thompson, a Director with Advanced Logic Industries.

While America braces for future cyberattacks, right now Thompson says the biggest impact in the U.S. is the spread of misleading, confusing or manipulating information.

“A lot of the disinformation coming from around the world only comes from about 12 different sources, and then its spread through social media networks through Facebook in particular, through TikTok,” Thompson explained.


About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.