All eyes are on the Russia-Ukraine crisis right now. The situation continues to escalate; and while most of the world has been keeping tabs on the evolving political situation, the world of cybersecurity has also grown concerned that the conflict will spark new waves of cyberattacks against critical infrastructure.
How exactly is the situation unfolding in Europe projected to affect the cybersecurity industry on a global scale?
The Rise of Cyberattacks in Global Crises
In some ways, it’s not surprising that disaster begets more danger in the cyber sphere. In hard times, criminals come out of the woodwork to take advantage of increased apprehension, precaution and recklessness. Sometimes in looking for viable protection, people buy into fraudulent schemes instead.
We can see that this occurred already during the COVID-19 pandemic, still ongoing and generating scams. Fake COVID-19 documents flooded the Dark Web, phishing and vishing scams abounded, and work from home measures prompted ransomware to become the most prevalent threat to businesses once again.
With the situation escalating in Europe, it follows that cybercriminals would use the opportunity to attack businesses and critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Should the conflict continue in this vain, we can surely expect similar attacks to spread all over the world.
The Future of Cybersecurity
Perhaps another indicator of fear, cybersecurity stocks have risen as the conflict progressed. Shares jumped for multiple cybersecurity companies, indicating that the likely increase in cybercriminal activity will lead to greater investment in tech too.
What exactly should you be on the lookout for in terms of escalating cyber-threats given the current global climate?
- Attempted breaches on vulnerable areas of the network
- Supply chain attacks
- Phishing, vishing and smishing scams
- Financial theft via online banking systems
- Password compromise
This is not to mention the recent “Shields Up” guidance posted by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which warns about the potential for Russian cyberattackers to turn attention to U.S. critical infrastructure should they feel the need to retaliate at any time.
In the meantime, what can you do? It’s a good idea to strengthen your passwords and accounts, and find your biggest risk factors so you can fix them before they are exploited. Risk and vulnerability assessments, as well as penetration tests, can find where the business is most likely to be attacked and recommend the necessary fixes required to optimize your security posture.
As the Russia-Ukraine conflict progresses, expect to see more time and money invested in cybersecurity especially as cyberattacks proliferate to capitalize on the heightened emotions that occur in tumult. Keep an eye on the recommendations and protocols that will come out to protect businesses from whatever new cyber threats arise, and take precautionary measures in the meantime by patching up vulnerabilities and strengthening your accounts through multi-factor authentication and other means.
We’ve entered a mass stage of transformation, again. Whatever happens next with global affairs, cybersecurity is already on the path to become a more lucrative sector so as to provide cutting-edge solutions to the threat actors that always pop up with new tricks in times of turmoil and confusion. Take defensive measures now to strengthen your cybersecurity posture, and keep an eye on what’s changing in the industry as more news about the conflict arrives.