Russian cyberattacks have been on the rise since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict. Businesses that engage in activity with Russia have experienced a drastic increase in cyberattacks—with one in three businesses and one in four charities regularly experiencing breaches. Experts around the world have given warnings about the potential for further cyberattacks due to the economic and financial challenges imposed on the country.
Because there is no end in sight to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, should organizations take additional measures to protect themselves? Businesses must prepare for the possibility of attacks on their data and infrastructure.
This blog will explore the factors involved in the increase in cyberattacks and what businesses can do to minimize risk.
Why has there been an increase in Russian cyberattacks?
In the past few years, we have seen Russia use to affect both large-scale governmental departments and local businesses. However, it is now engaged in a significant conflict with Ukraine, which is receiving Western aid.
In March, President Joe Biden warned that Russian cyberattacks might be used to retaliate against economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. Despite the increasing emphasis on network security in the IT field, advances in cybercrime technology create a need for constant improvement in security processes. The fact is, modern warfare involves cybercrime, and Russia is using cyberattacks intending to harm and destabilize foreign powers.
What is the potential damage?
Cybercrime executed by Russia is nothing new. They have been honing strategies for attacks on other nations for years now. Unfortunately, there are many examples of Russian cyberattacks in recent years that have caused harm to a company’s workers and bottom line.
In 2017, the NotPeya malware attack resulted in $10 billion of damage globally when hackers infiltrated Ukrainian software systems used across the globe. More recently, the SolarWinds hack added malicious code to security firm FireEye and resulted in 18,000 customers becoming vulnerable to hackers. Fortune 500 companies and multiple U.S. government agencies were among the victims of this attack, demonstrating the sophistication of their methods.
While massive organizations receive widespread coverage in the news, smaller businesses are at a higher risk of cyberattacks. No company is invulnerable, and all need to ensure they are adequately protected—especially with the recent uptick.
What can businesses do?
Effective cyber security is a long-term process that requires sustained strategic investment. There are multiple steps an organization can take; but first, it needs to assess its current cyber posture.
An organization should ensure it has implemented multi-factor authentications across all its users, without exception. It should regularly update its software and put priority on patching known exploits.
All companies should also spend time educating their workforce. Employees should receive training on how to be aware of Russian cyberattacks, how to identify ransomware and phishing schemes, and more. By educating the workforce, companies can shift their focus to protecting the organization on a digital level.
The United States government recommends that companies educate staff and implement prevention measures for all possible methods of attack, including:
- Code flaw vulnerabilities
- Privilege escalation
- Network attacks
- Zero-Day vulnerabilities
- Denial-of-service (DDoS)
- Network anomalies
- Data anomalies
Learn more: Planning to Prevent All Types of Cyber Attacks
What about insurance?
Despite all the preparatory efforts companies can undertake, they are still vulnerable to cyberattacks that use new and unseen methods. For many, it is not a question of if, but when. Businesses should explore contingency plans—one of which is insurance.
Beyond reducing the financial risks of a potential cyberattack, insurance also shifts risk to the insurer and helps beyond financial remuneration. The right insurance can help cover the costs of essential services, such as investigators, legal assistance, crisis communicators, and customer credits or refunds.
A robust insurance plan is key to reducing the massive financial burden caused by cyberattacks. Businesses must be able to mitigate severe financial damage, and cybersecurity insurance can ensure your business isn’t crippled by a sudden attack.
Learn more: How Data Breach Insurance Protects Your Business
What should you look out for?
A common concern is whether Russian cyberattacks are covered by existing insurance policies. While many insurance companies have begun introducing cyber terrorism policies, they often exclude acts of war. This is because the definition of cyber warfare is still being developed, with NATO stating that while not all cyberattacks can be considered acts of war, there are exceptions.
Assuming a policy covers all variations of cybercrimes may lead to long and expensive legal battles. To remove uncertainty, businesses need to know they are completely protected in the current volatile global climate.
Make sure your insurance coverage is right for you
The success of an organization hinges on understanding its limitations, taking chances on innovative solutions, and operating with confidence. Having the assurance of adequate insurance coverage in our unstable economic climate provides the confidence companies need to focus on improving their operations and security measures.
McGowan’s Cyber Security Insurance Coverage offers sophisticated policies backed by highly trained vendors and legal advisors, for both large and small operations. We provide coverage against all types of cyberattacks and data breaches committed with malicious intent.
Finding the right support network and expert team is crucial to your success. Businesses need to ensure they are fully prepared for evolving conflicts around the world. To learn more or ask for a quote, please contact one of the experts at McGowan Program Administrators.