One Ukraine Company Shares Lessons in Prepping for Wartime Cyber Resilience

One Ukraine Company Shares Lessons in Prepping for Wartime Cyber Resilience

November 1, 2023 at 03:38PM

The cybersecurity community is focusing on preparing for uncertainty amid the conflict in Israel. Vira Tkachenko, CTO of MacPaw, shares her experiences and offers insights into wartime cyber resilience. MacPaw created an emergency team, prioritized physical safety and security, hardened headquarters, bolstered power and connectivity options, built up hardware reserves, set up redundant communications, stayed flexible and in touch, froze code changes, prepared for a spike in cyberattacks, and accounted for human realities.

Key takeaways from the meeting notes:

1. Preparation for uncertainty in the face of armed conflict is crucial for security executives, especially in regions at risk of physical attacks and cyberwarfare.
2. MacPaw, an international software company based in Ukraine, created an emergency team comprised of executive members and stakeholders from various departments to analyze potential risks and mitigate them during the war.
3. The safety of employees and the security of customer services were the top priorities for MacPaw during the war.
4. The company made physical preparations at its headquarters, including creating emergency bags for personnel and setting up a powerful diesel generator and emergency water supplies.
5. MacPaw focused on bolstering power and connectivity options to ensure operational continuity, including investing in satellite Internet stations and using Starlink as a backup provider.
6. The company built up hardware reserves to prepare for potential supply chain disruptions.
7. Additional communication channels, such as Signal, were introduced to enhance emergency communication and coordination.
8. During the war, the emergency team stayed flexible and regularly met to discuss the changing situation, launch projects, and make decisions.
9. A code freeze regime was implemented to minimize the risk of system disruptions caused by emotional decision-making during the war.
10. MacPaw strengthened its cyber defense measures, partnering with Cloudflare for DDoS protection and increasing security education to detect targeted social engineering attempts.
11. The company addressed the emotional well-being of its employees, providing support, reassurance, and flexibility to accommodate their personal situations during the war.
12. Despite lower performance from some employees due to the war’s impact, work served as a positive outlet for them, enabling them to focus and alleviate thoughts about the conflict.

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