Russia – Ukraine Conflict. Global Cybersecurity Risks?

Russian-Ukrainian conflict: will it be cyber war? The military escalation of the latest weeks has involved the IT front. There are many institutional sites and digital infrastructures in Kiev targeted by cybercriminals with new malware and phishing actions.

As the conflict escalates and the EU and US confirm their support for Ukraine, experts question the possible global cyber war.

Cybersecurity, the other face of the war between Russia and Ukraine

The recent proliferation of new malware, such as Isaac Wiper, Cyclops Blink, and HermeticRansom, has set global governments on the alert.

The precedents already exist. In 2017, the “NotPetya” malware, of alleged Russian origin, blocked digital systems first of Ukrainian banks, airports and railways and then spread rapidly to 65 countries to the detriment of approximately 7,000 companies and multinational companies, including the transport group global Maersk and chemical and pharmaceutical giant Merck.

According to some forecasts, today we could face an even greater threat and the repercussions could prove even greater than those generated by “NotPetya” in 2017, with a potential economic impact of over 10 billion dollars.

According to Eugenio Santagata, CEO of Telsy, “In Ukraine it is not yet cyber war, but we need to prepare and defend our infrastructures”. Prevention is key, which is why, he continues, “We are trying to find vulnerabilities and simulate large-scale cyber attacks.”

Regarding the approximately 650 million euros foreseen by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for cybersecurity, Santagata claims it is a good start, but that there is still a need for much higher investments.

Industries most at risk of cyber attacks

The industries most exposed to the risk of cyber attacks are those of public interest. As experience with “NotPetya” shows, particular attention must be paid to the financial and transport sectors. Not only that, but the energy industry can also be vulnerable. It is in fact an extremely complex sector, which relies on a digital infrastructure active 24 hours a day.

In these fields, it is important that companies (both large companies and SMEs) are ready to increase their level of IT security and to implement preventive measures.