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Russia and Ukraine: Cyberwarfare in the 21st Century

3 Minute Read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

Cyberattacks have been on the rise for decades globally, but most of the time it's tied to rogue third parties that want to steal money from businesses. This week, cyberattacks have reached a new level with nation-states like Russia leveraging all of their cyber resources to launch sophisticated attacks. More specifically, Russia unleashed a plethora of cyber attacks like data-wiping malware on Ukraine's government systems.

Russia has continued to attack Ukraine's data infrastructures and has aimed to destroy and cause internet interruptions to Ukraine's systems. This tactic would make it harder for Ukraine to communicate with their allies while Russia continues to its invasion of the country. As the invasion continues, Russia is continuing to deploy more cyberweapons to harm Ukraine and its troops.

What are the impacts of cyberwarfare?

Destruction of infrastructure: When a country is hit with a cyberattack, one of the main goals is to destroy or severely damage the target's infrastructure. For Ukraine, this has meant that many of their government systems have been taken offline, including the power grid, telecommunications, and transportation. This not only makes it hard for the country to function but also leaves it vulnerable to further attacks.

Theft of government data: Cyberwarfare results in the theft of key government data that can heavily impact wars. By getting vital data and intelligence, Russia can leverage these insights to cause a significant blow to Ukraine and its allies.

Disruption of communication: One of the main goals of cyberwarfare is to disrupt communication with allies and troops. Often times, this is much more damaging than a physical attack because it alienates a government from receiving help in a time-sensitive manner.

How can you protect your business from cyberwarfare?

Work with a trusted IT provider: The best possible way to protect yourself and your business is to get expert help. A managed IT provider can give you comprehensive cybersecurity services like endpoint protection, encryption, spam protection and more. Additionally, an IT provider can recover any data you lose when it comes to any cyber attack.

Update your existing systems: Make sure you have the most up-to-date software and systems. Legacy systems are one of the largest vulnerabilities for businesses and hackers can gain easy access to your networks through them. Make sure to routinely update your system, this will help protect you from known cybersecurity threats.

Create strong passwords: Use a variety of characters including numbers, symbols and letters to create strong passwords. Also, make sure to change your passwords regularly. Having strong passwords is a great first line of defense against hackers.

Train employees on cybersecurity: Employees are often the strongest or weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. Having an educated staff will prevent many cyber threats for your business. Make sure to educate them on the dangers of clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown senders. Doing activities like phishing simulations is a great way to do this.

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