CYBER WAR OR MILITARY WAR
There’s much more to the current Ukraine-Russia conflict than a military invasion. It is a war that stretches far beyond the borders of either country. And when the military war ends, hopefully soon, an international cyberwar may well endure. As a business executive, you have no doubt assessed the situation thoroughly. Are any of your employees or partners at risk? Will any of your operations be affected? How will the conflict impact supply chains and what will be the ramifications? Those are the questions that you’ve asked and answered but are you too late? Knowing Russia’s intentions from the past, it is likely that the cyber war will wax and not wane.
THE WORST IS COMING
While we look on in horror at videos showing Ukrainian buildings being obliterated by Russian missiles, we need to remind ourselves that they depict the tip of the iceberg. The war in Ukraine is possibly the most acute cyber risk that the West has ever had to contend with. The United States, the European Union and the UK have all imposed devastating financial and technological sanctions on the invader, construed by some as economic warfare. Russia will definitely retaliate by leveraging its cyber capabilities and launch a cyber war. This time it won’t be a war that hones in on Ukraine but one of global proportions.
THE CYBER WAR IS ALREADY UPON US
The worse may be coming but the global cyber war is already showing its ugly face. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the United States has issued a warning of the risk of Russian cyberattacks spilling over onto U.S. networks. On the other side of the pond, the European Central Bank (ECB) has warned European financial institutions, particularly those in France and Germany, of the risk of retaliatory Russian cyber-attacks in the event of sanctions and related market disruptions. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK has urged British companies to beef up their cybersecurity over growing concerns of Russian cyberattacks following the sanctions imposed by the West. A statement from the NCSC read:
“UK organisations are being urged to bolster their cybersecurity resilience in response to malicious cyber-incidents in and around Ukraine.”
Besides Ukrainian government websites and banks being attacked, the United States has also witnessed a dramatic increase in cyber probing. Robert Lee, a cybersecurity leader told Harvard Business Review:
“We have observed threat groups that have been attributed to the Russian government by U.S. government agencies performing reconnaissance against U.S. industrial
infrastructure, including key electric and natural gas sites in recent months.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Cybersecurity isn’t a bolt-on or quick fix, it is a long-term strategic investment. So if you are too late there still are some things you can do to counter the cyber war:
- Evaluate your Business Continuity (BC) plan
- Examine your supply chain – are you dependent on any Ukrainian vendors?
- Reach out to government agencies and regulatory bodies like the NCSC
- Use MFA and patch vulnerabilities
- Ensure that all your employees are cyber aware
LET’S WAGE WAR TOGETHER
Two is always better than one. Let me help you wage the war against cybercrime and help put an end to the cyber war that is upon us. I have over 20 years of experience delivering professional IT services and support, specializing in cybersecurity and risk mitigation. Contact me today. Together we can win the cyber war.