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White House Warns Companies to Encrypt Data in Case of Russian Cyberattack

The White House urged companies to encrypt their data because Russia may plan a cyberattack against the United States in response to the sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Above, the White House logo is displayed in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The White House urged companies to encrypt their data because Russia may plan a cyberattack against the United States in response to the sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Above, the White House logo is displayed in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The White House urged companies to encrypt their data because Russia may plan a cyberattack against the United States in response to the sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The government said there is evolving intelligence that Russia may be looking at methods for a potential cyberattack. In order to protect business data, the government is warning companies to encrypt data so it can’t be used if it is stolen and to have offline backups that attackers cannot access, the White House said in a statement on Monday.

The U.S. has been warning about a possible Russian cyberattack since before its invasion of Ukraine began. The White House previously said the Russian government was responsible for widespread cyberattacks on Ukrainian banks and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence. Additionally, experts think a cyberattack against Israel last Tuesday may be connected to Iran and to Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that his administration is working to “improve domestic cybersecurity and bolder out national resilience” in preparation for a possible cyberattack against U.S. infrastructure, which would be “part of Russia’s playbook.”

The Biden administration urged the private sector to “accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors” in order protect critical services Americans rely on.

“My administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone,” Biden said.

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