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On Wednesday, the Australian government backed the US and UK governments in imposing sanctions on Russian banks and individuals and issuing a warning to businesses to strengthen their cyber defences.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that the government has already reached out to certain firms discreetly and that local businesses should study the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s guidelines (ACSC).

Morrison said the government had taken efforts to boost cyber defences, including private measures with several corporations, warning them about the possibility of Russian and other actors retaliating.

Vigilance is the name of the game

The prime minister added that there is no evidence that such attacks have started, urging the public to go to cyber.gov.au to get clear information on the steps to take to ensure that they are protected from any cyber-attacks.

He also said that cyber was the most obvious path for Russian retaliation, meaning companies could be targeted and become collateral damage.

According to the ACSC’s recommendations, organizations should examine and improve their awareness, prevention, and reaction to potential attacks. Actions like checking their systems, updating software and other relevant safeguards.

Warnings abound

Australia’s Five Eyes allies have made similar warnings, with the UK National Cyber Security Centre declaring that there has been a historical trend of cyber strikes on Ukraine with worldwide ramifications.

Since last month, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has been advising administrators to disconnect critical infrastructure from the internet if they are seen as an appealing target.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two separatist territories in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops to the region on a supposedly “peacekeeping” mission, triggering strong reactions from Western nations.