Dr. Chase Cunningham - Defend & Conquer Weekly Review January 17, 2024

  • News
  • By Daniel Michan
  • Published on January 17

Things You Need to Know in Cybersecurity This Week


Welcome to another update in the world of cybersecurity! I'm Dr. Chase Cunningham, reporting for CybersecurityHQ, and today I'll be sharing ten important pieces of news and insights from the industry. From building zero trust systems to the rise of ransomware attacks, I'll cover a range of topics that you should be aware of. So, without further ado, let's dive right in!

1. Building a Zero Trust System

Our first piece of advice comes from a Federal News Network article that provides solid advice on how to build a zero trust system. The article discusses various elements of a zero trust architecture, including deploying security checkpoints and embracing cutting-edge tools. It also emphasizes the importance of integrating holistically and embracing risk management. Continuous learning and ongoing training are also crucial components of a successful zero trust rollout. Remember, this is a long-term endeavor, and commitment is key.

2. The British Library's Cyberattack Recovery

Next on our list is an incident that affected the British Library. After a cyberattack, the library's digital services were compromised, and access to their main catalog, containing 36 million records of printed rare books, was limited to read-only format. The library is gradually recovering its services, but this incident highlights the impact of cyberattacks on crucial institutions. While some may question the necessity of physical libraries in the digital age, it's important to acknowledge the value they hold for researchers and scholars.

3. Hackers Improving Phishing Schemes with AI

In a disturbing development, the National Security Agency (NSA) warns that hackers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their English and phishing schemes. According to Rob Joyce, the NSA's cybersecurity director, the language used in these schemes is becoming more sophisticated, making it harder to differentiate between genuine and malicious emails. This trend highlights the need for robust cybersecurity measures, and traditional anti-phishing training may not be enough to combat these increasingly convincing scams.

4. Rising Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise, with nearly 5,200 organizations falling victim in 2023 alone, according to a report by Rapid7. These attacks not only disrupt business operations but also pose significant financial and reputational risks. It's worth noting that the actual number of attacks is likely higher since many go unreported. As the prevalence of ransomware continues to grow, organizations must enhance their cybersecurity defenses and prioritize proactive measures such as regular backups, software patching, and employee training to mitigate the risk.

5. Election Security Concerns for 2024

With the upcoming 2024 elections, election security has become a top concern. A former FBI cyber agent highlights generative AI as a potential threat. Malicious actors can manipulate this technology to create realistic but fake news stories, soundbites, and videos that can spread misinformation and sway public opinion. Local leaders and government agencies must monitor social media platforms closely to identify and counter any possible misinformation campaigns. Combating the impact of deepfakes and false information remains a critical challenge for election security.

6. Cyber Warfare and Retaliation

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has spilled over into cyberspace. Ukrainian hacktivists recently targeted a Russian Internet provider, M9, in retaliation for a cyberattack on Ukraine's nationwide telecom provider. The attack resulted in significant disruption, including Internet and television services going down for half of Moscow's population. This incident showcases the growing digitization of warfare and the potential consequences of escalating conflicts in cyberspace.

7. Bad Cybersecurity Habits Among SMBs

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) often neglect cybersecurity best practices, exposing themselves to significant risks. By adopting simple habits, these businesses can significantly enhance their security posture. Using long passphrases, implementing password managers, reporting scams, providing unique logins for team members, and promptly applying software updates are all practices that can bolster cybersecurity within SMBs. These fundamental steps can help mitigate the risk of data breaches and other cyber incidents.


That concludes our roundup of the ten noteworthy developments in cybersecurity this week. From building robust zero trust systems to the increased sophistication of phishing schemes and the rising threat of ransomware attacks, there are several aspects to consider. As digital threats continue to evolve, it's vital for organizations, government agencies, and individuals to stay informed, adapt their cybersecurity strategies, and implement proper measures to safeguard their digital assets. Remember, being proactive and investing in cybersecurity today can prevent potentially devastating consequences in the future.

Stay smart, stay safe, and stay secure!

Dr. Chase Cunningham, reporting for CybersecurityHQ