Feds Launch Awareness Campaign on Private Sector Cyber Risks

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) at the at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has launched a new security awareness campaign called “Know the Risk, Raise your Shield” . Its goal is to increase public awareness of cyber threats faced by the private sector and encourages businesses in every industry sector to enhance their cyber defenses.

The campaign suggests businesses should strengthen passwords, safeguard social media accounts, use safety measures to defend against phishing and spear phishing, to exercise caution on the telephone and avoid disclosing sensitive information, and to take extra care on overseas trips as communications are likely to be monitored and electronic communications may not be secure.

The campaign gives U.S. businesses information that will help them understand current cyber threats and details steps they can take to improve their defenses against cyber threats.

Well-funded nation-state supported threat actors are targeting private sector companies in the United States to gain access to sensitive data, proprietary information and infiltrate supply chains. Russia presents the biggest threat, although state-financed hackers from China, Iran and North Korea are likewise targeting U.S. businesses, as are many independent threat actors.

Threat actors attack for financial gain, to sabotage businesses, and for political reasons. The attacks endanger U.S. national security and worldwide competitiveness of businesses. Persistent and aggressive attacks cost the U.S dearly and reduce work opportunities, result in economic disadvantage, and the loss of large sums of money.

The campaign includes a series of training to raise awareness of the following risks:

  • Social media threats
  • Spear phishing
  • Social engineering
  • Travel awareness
  • Supply chain risk management
  • Human targeting
  • Economic espionage

Posters, pamphlets, and flyers have also been produced by the NCSC to increase employee awareness of the threats. The training resources are accessible from this link.