Broadcasters are targets for cyberattacks. Take action now!

There are 8 steps stations can take right now to help boost cybersecurity 

As many of you have already heard, the US Government this week issued warnings to all American companies about looming cybersecurity threats tied to the current political climate with Russia.

The MBA advises all Missouri broadcasters to assume they remain a high-profile target subject to cyber attack. Even without this warning, many broadcasters both large and small have been plagued by cyber criminal issues over the past year.

In guidance shared this week, the US Government advises 8 key steps that all businesses should take ASAP to protect themselves from any immediate threat. We’re sharing those tips below, advising all broadcasters to give them careful review.

1. Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication for all computer/system logins to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system.

2. Deploy modern security tools on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats (virus software, security updates).

3. Check with your cybersecurity professionals to make sure that your systems are patched and protected against all known vulnerabilities, and change passwords across your networks so that previously stolen credentials are useless to malicious actors.

4. Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors.

5. Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that you are prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impact of any attack. This is especially key for broadcasters in case your signal is hacked.

6. Encrypt your data so it cannot be used if it is stolen.

7. Educate your employees to common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites, and encourage them to report if their computers or phones have shown unusual behavior, such as unusual crashes or operating very slowly.

8. Engage proactively with your local FBI Field Office to establish relationships in advance of any cyber incidents. Please encourage your IT and Security leadership to visit the websites of the FBI and CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) where they will find technical information and other useful resources.

In addition, The National Association of Broadcasters has made various cybersecurity resources availableto their members. 

The MBA also partners with P1 Learning, which gives our members access to multiple training courses – including on cybersecurity. If you’d like to join the MBA to take advantage of this valuable benefit (along with many others) view this page on our website.