Financial Risk and Foreign Affairs Fuel Cyber Concerns [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

As we have seen, cybersecurity concerns impact so many fields all over the world. Some of the latest cybersecurity news reflects how this topic continues to build up as a binding factor between current events and sectors, but also how it can have an impact at a much smaller, personal level.

One major story this week came out of Norway where the head of Norges Bank Investment Management commented on the rising risk to financial markets that cyberthreats pose. Norges Bank Investment Management is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, and according to Nicolai Tangen, its chief executive, cybersecurity is taking over as its number one source of unease. Even after going through a major monetary loss in the wake of widespread financial issues like the potential of inflation, it is the cyberattack experiences that are creating fears. Financial Times reports that the fund has gone through an increased number of hacking cases over the past two to three years reaching 100,000 attacks a year. And the heads of the organization warn that this is likely to grow as more financial institutions digitalize their operations. Both malware and ransomware attacks have significantly increased for banks. But that is not it. The ongoing battle between Russia and Ukraine and the Russian cyberthreats that have stemmed out of it continues to cause rampant worry especially for a country geographically close like Norway. But a financial attack in Norway could have trickle down effects considering the globalized state of finances. Therefore, the weight put on cybersecurity is a significant matter.

It is not just Russia contributing to cybersecurity unrest. Elsewhere, China is also causing some experts to be on the lookout. Amid Russian-linked cyber campaigns, the U.S. is on alert over China’s activity following a recent trip representatives and lawmakers took to Taiwan. When speaking at the Black Hat conference, Chris Krebs, the former director of the CISA, noted that preparations should be made in case China decided to invade Taiwan. Like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this event could ignite cybersecurity attacks with the potential to affect critical connecting elements like supply chains.

On a less serious note, Amazon just partnered with the National Cybersecurity Alliance for the release of a cybersecurity PSA. The campaign is called “Protect & Connect,” and it features well-known actors, Michael B. Jordan, and Tessa Thompson. Its main purpose is to combat consumer apathy toward cybersecurity and offers resources for consumer protection at a website specifically designed for the campaign. As the company points out, putting together such a space is important because even as cyberattacks have increased, concern for security among individuals has taken a dip. Like many other overwhelming subjects, when there are so many reports of large-scale threats such as the financial and geopolitical ones discussed above, the individual impact can get lost. But even as broad, national, and global systems are at risk to cyberthreats, so are each of us as online consumers.

Key Takeaways:

“Norway’s Oil Fund Warns Cyber Security is Top Concern” – Adrienne Klasa & Robin Wigglesworth, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/1aa6f92a-078b-4e1a-81ca-65298b8310b2

  • The head of Norges Bank Investment Management commented on the rising risk to financial markets that cyberthreats pose.
  • Financial Times reports that the fund has gone through an increased number of hacking cases over the past two to three years reaching 100,000 attacks a year.
  • Continued Russian cyberthreats are also fueling these concerns.

“Experts nervously eye cyber threats from China” – Eric Geller, Politico

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/weekly-cybersecurity/2022/08/22/experts-nervously-eye-cyber-threats-from-china-00053042

  • Amid Russian-linked cyber campaigns, the U.S. is on alert over China’s activity following a recent trip representatives and lawmakers took to Taiwan.
  • When speaking at the Black Hat conference, Chris Krebs, the former director of the CISA, noted that preparations should be made in case China decided to invade Taiwan.
  • Such an event could lead to cyberattacks on essential systems like supply chains.

“Amazon and the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s PSA campaign features Prime Video actor Michael B. Jordan and actress-producer Tessa Thompson as “‘internet bodyguards.’” – Amazon

https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/community/protect-yourself-online-with-tips-from-amazon-and-the-national-cybersecurity-alliance

  • Amazon just partnered with the National Cybersecurity Alliance for the release of a cybersecurity PSA.
  • The campaign is called “Protect & Connect,” and it features well-known actors, Michael B. Jordan, and Tessa Thompson.
  • Its main purpose is to combat consumer apathy toward cybersecurity and offers resources for consumer protection at a website specifically designed for the campaign.
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