Random Noise: July 2021

July 22, 2021
Dennis Thompson

Dennis Thompson



Hello Radio, and TV, and all the ships at sea.

A reminder that our Newsletter advertisers help us defray SBE Chapter 66 operating costs by with their support. So please support them as well. You will notice a new business card ad this month for RB Engineering. Headed up by Rusty Burchfield, providing Radio, TV, RF, Satellite, Computer Networking, RF site safety and more. Be sure to ad the RB Engineering information to your files. Here is a L I N K to a recent project that Rusty was involved with.

Also note (if you read this in time) there will be an SBE Webinar discussing Drones for tower inspecting. See the link and information in this Newsletter. SBE members receive a discount.

I hope you have survived all the ‘attacks’ that have headed your way. Thwarting the Covid-19 attack has become easier thanks to 18 months of practice. The recent cyberattacks, perhaps not so easy. Some broadcasters have been the target of these attacks. Not long ago, Entercom (now Audacy) and Salem Media Group were hit. More recently Cox Media was hit with a ransomware attack. What to do to prevent against the threat of Randsomware?

Here are the US Governments suggested five best practices to significantly reduce the threat of a successful cyberattack:

1. Backup your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them,
and keep the backups offline:

Ensure that backups are regularly tested and that they are not connected to the business network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups. Maintaining current
backups offline is critical because if your network data is encrypted with ransomware, your organization can restore systems.

2. Update and patch systems promptly:

This includes maintaining the security of operating systems, applications, and firmware, in a timely manner. Consider using a centralized patch management system; use a risk-based assessment strategy to drive your patch management program.

3. Test your incident response plan:

There’s nothing that shows the gaps in plans more than testing them. Run through some core questions and use those to build an incident response plan: Are you able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Would you turn off your manufacturing operations if business systems such as billing were offline? 

4. Check Your Security Team’s Work:

Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the
equivalent of unlocked doors.

5. Segment your networks:

There’s been a recent shift in ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. It’s critically important that your corporate business functions and manufacturing/production operations are
separated and that you carefully filter and limit internet access to operational networks, identify links between these networks and develop workarounds or manual controls to ensure ICS networks can be isolated and continue operating if your corporate network is compromised. Regularly test contingency plans such as manual controls so that safety critical functions can be maintained during a cyber incident.

Join the SBE66 gang this Thursday July 29th at Mitsui Buffet in Clovis for the monthly meeting, where the only thing being attacked will be delicious food by your chopsticks.


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