Over the past week, Israel has experienced significant cyber attacks on the Israel Post and irrigation systems in the North. The Israel Postal Company detected and prevented an attack on their computer servers by a “hostile party” and shut down part of their systems in response. This did not affect banking services, which operate on a separate system. While the attack was stopped early and did not result in any damage or information leaks, some services such as package delivery, courier orders, and customs payment were suspended as a precaution. These services are expected to resume soon. In a separate incident, at least ten farmers in different parts of the country experienced a cyber attack on their irrigation systems, causing a halt in scheduled watering. The National Cyber Directorate and Ministry of Agriculture have announced that irrigation activities have since resumed. The manufacturer of the hacked water controllers, Unitronics, said they integrated cyber protection layers into their controllers and acted quickly to assist customers in recovering. There have also been reports of other cyber attacks, including the Anonymous Sudan group hacking into various websites such as universities, airlines, and Israel Railways as part of their annual cyber campaign against Israel, “OPIsrael.” The National Cyber Directorate has warned of increasing cyber attack efforts against Israel in the lead-up to the month of Ramadan and the “Iranian Jerusalem Day” celebration on April 14.
There are some steps companies can take to lessen their risk of attack and damage. Some of those measures include:
1. Act quickly: Time is of the essence when it comes to a cyber attack. The longer organizations wait to respond, the more damage the attacker can do. As soon as the company becomes aware of the attack, take steps to isolate affected systems and contain the damage.
2. Contact cybersecurity experts: Cybersecurity experts can provide valuable assistance in responding to a cyber attack. They can help organizations identify the source of the attack, remove malware, and restore affected systems. Consider engaging a reputable cybersecurity firm with experience in incident response.
3. Notify stakeholders: If the cyber attack involves sensitive data or affects critical systems, it is important to notify relevant stakeholders such as customers, partners, and regulators. Transparency can help mitigate the impact of the attack and maintain trust.
4. Train employees: Employee training is critical to preventing future cyber attacks. Ensure that employees are aware of the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices, and encourage them to report any suspicious activity immediately.
5. Backup important data: Regularly backing up important data can help organizations recover quickly from a cyber attack. Ensure that backup systems are secure and regularly tested.