The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been the testing ground for a lot of modern tools that are emblematic of modern war. Russia did obviously take the route of sending in troops to take territory. Still, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that could serve as a warning of potential future conflicts.
Over 150 cyberattacks were launched against Ukraine, in the first 10 weeks of 2022. These attacks stopped government sites from working, implemented malware. It sparked a movement towards greater cyber security in Ukraine and the U.S alike.
What’s at Stake in Cyber Attacks
This is scary for the U.S as the infrastructure behind Ukraine’s cyberspace is very similar to that of the U.S’s and other western countries. Russia has been hacking into Ukrainian cyberspace to cause issues since as early as 2015. This doesn’t sound terribly serious until one realizes that power grids, banking information, and many businesses are completely digitally controlled.
In 2022, the West at large has opted to help Ukraine with its cybersecurity. However, the fear is when these attacks start to move beyond just Ukraine. 50% of U.S technology executives fear that cyber attacks from government forces pose the greatest risk to their companies.
This isn’t without reason either, in 2021 cybersecurity attacks cost a company $4.24 million on average. This has only become more and more scary with the pandemic as many people are now working from home. Many startups are now held completely on the cloud, and many services are completely digital.
Cyberwar is the most extreme outcome possible. A cyberwar could mean bursting pipes, destroyed power grids, a complete disruption of everyday life, and general infrastructure issues. Although specific cyberattacks also pose a real risk, working to instead destroy specific institutions and infrastructures.
What does this all mean though, really? 93% of Americans fear cyberwar. Less than 10% of the U.S have confidence that the government could properly protect them in the case of cyberwar. The most important thing a consumer or technology based company or startup can do is be aware.
Understand the vulnerabilities of one’s systems and services. Backing up things physically and recognize who is the most likely to be targeted is key. Cyberwar is less likely to attack specific people or companies but it is by no means unheard of. Technology continues to rise in importance year after year.
The U.S is often thought to be the most reliable country when it comes to cybersecurity. Still, that isn’t saying much. What new startups should fear is an over reliance on completely digital services when creating the basis to their company. What consumers should fear is the potential for large-scale institutions to be messed with by other countries.
Ukraine is suffering a lot of what is currently feared worldwide. The West continues to give supportive resources to Ukraine. Now is the best time for each country and each consumer to fortify their own. Cyberspace only continues to grow in importance year after year. Learning to make it a tool and not a hindrance is an essential part of moving into the new age.