Stepping Up Your Online Defenses:
The Cybersecurity Implications of the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
The Ukrainian crisis has had a monumental impact on world politics, and the threat of nuclear war is looming large. Beyond the physical battlefield, war is also being waged on a different plane – cyberspace. Hackers and cyber terrorists are changing the face of warfare, and this poses serious implications for businesses and organisations closer to home as well.
According to Forbes, in the immediate aftermath after the conflict erupted, suspected Russian-sourced cyber-attacks were observed over a 48-hour period at an increase of over 800%. Ukraine has been vulnerable to cyberattacks, all purportedly committed by Russian hackers. On 19 January 2022, more than 70 Ukrainian government websites were defaced. Shortly after, the same government websites and Privatbank, the country’s largest commercial bank, had their defenses exposed after being rocked by another wave of distributed-denial-of-service attacks.
In the face of the rising cybersecurity threat, countries and businesses all across the globe are gearing up to secure their online defenses. There is a need to not just establish the basics of cybersecurity, but also, to go deeper and secure its information technology infrastructures.
It appears that countries outside the direct ambit of the Russia-Ukraine crisis are taking up arms to secure their own online defenses. Recognising the serious nature of this threat, Singapore is set to establish a cyber military force, a new wing of its armed forces dedicated to digital security. This so-called “fourth service” is meant to integrate and expand the city-state’s capabilities in the digital domain and will be set up by the last quarter of the year.
It would do countries and indeed, businesses large and small, well to heed Singapore’s example and consider re-calibrating their online security infrastructure. Echoing this call, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCert) have advised business to strengthen their vigilance and resilience against cyber attacks such as Web defacement, distributed-denial-of-service and ransomware attacks.
Moreover, SingCert has also advised businesses to take simple steps such as ensuring multi-factor authentication is required for all remote, privileged and administrative access and disable all ports and protocols not essential for business purposes. They also recommended using a Security Information and Event Management appliance to monitor logs and maintain visibility even after logging-on periods.
While much of the future is ambiguous, especially with the looming threat of nuclear warfare, this much is certain: modern warfare is growing increasingly complex with the intrusion of cyber-attackers and hackers, and this calls for increasingly sophisticated cyber-security solutions to establish online fortresses. No longer are mere basics or traditional security methods enough to guard against cyber attackers of malicious intents. We need to innovate and evolve according to the heightening threats in order to remain resilient, vigilant, and secure in these precarious times.
With the multitude of cyber attackers right at our doorstep, there is no better time to invest in your firm’s cybersecurity. Contact us today to find out how we can help you safeguard your firm’s future.
Article by Stephanie C. Heng
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