Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Stirs Cybersecurity Moves Across Industries [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

As the extremely disturbing scenes of devastation unfold in the Ukraine, there are less visible impacts trickling across the border to send industries in other countries into defense mode, with cybersecurity topping that list. From healthcare organizations in the U.K. to banks in the U.S., organizations across the board are taking action to equip themselves in the case that a Russian cyberattack were to launch in their direction.

To start with, the news of escalation between Russia and Ukraine has driven the National Health Service to issue an alert advising U.K.-based hospitals to enhance their cybersecurity safeguards. While the agency did not report any specific incidents that led to this notice, they explained that the decision stemmed from context regarding Ukraine stating, “an historical pattern of cyber-attacks on Ukraine with international consequences.” Also influencing NHS’s move is concern that a recent “denial of service” attack carried out in Ukraine by what British officials believe to be the Russian organization GRU could have more widespread implications. According to Forbes, the NHS has plans to release more specific guidelines soon.

Here in the U.S., banks are also starting to prepare themselves in the case that a Russian-led cyber breach were to target them. Specifically fueling this sector’s dread is the recent strategic move on the West’s part to implement sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. Along with its allies, the U.S. decided to prevent Russian banks from accessing SWIFT, the international payment system. In doing so, some banking executives are worried about the possible repercussions. Although large banks are home to some of the strongest cybersecurity standards due to their global stance, there is still a bit of uneasiness over the havoc that an event like a ransomware or malware attack could create.

The weight of concern over potential cyber threats related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has even reached schools. While cyberattacks have already been on the minds of those in education, K-12 Dive reported that experts in cybersecurity for this field are warning that 2022 could see a rise in incidents. They point to the current situation as a potential contributor to this trend, which could be very harmful to school districts considering that they are still handling vulnerabilities brought on by the forced increase in use of remote learning. 

As these range of organizations shore up their cybersecurity measures in the wake of such unrest, what exactly they will have to shield themselves from remains undefined now. In the meantime, we send our best to those physically and emotionally impacted by the situation.

Key Takeaways:

“England’s Hospitals Told to Boost Cybersecurity Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict” – Katherine Hignett, Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinehignett/2022/02/28/englands-hospitals-told-to-boost-cybersecurity-amid-russia-ukraine-conflict/?sh=4671940b5682

  • Amid escalation between Russia and Ukraine, the National Health Service issued an alert advising U.K.-based hospitals to enhance their cybersecurity safeguards.
  • They explained that the decision stemmed from context regarding Ukraine stating, “an historical pattern of cyber-attacks on Ukraine with international consequences.”
  • According to Forbes, the NHS has plans to release more specific guidelines soon.

“U.S. banks prepare for cyber-attacks after latest Russia sanctions” – Elizabeth Dilts Marshall, Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/us-banks-prepare-cyber-attacks-after-latest-russia-sanctions-2022-02-27/

  • Banks are starting to prepare themselves in the case that a Russian-led cyber breach were to target them.
  • Their concern is partially driven by recent sanctions placed on Russia and Russian banks, including a block from SWIFT.
  • Repercussions could come in the form of ransomware attacks, malware, etc.

“Russian-Ukrainian crisis may further complicate K-12 cybersecurity risks” – Anna Merod, K-12 Dive

https://www.k12dive.com/news/russian-ukrainian-crisis-may-further-complicate-k-12-cybersecurity-risks/619476/

  • Experts in K-12 education cybersecurity warn that 2022 could see a rise in cybersecurity incidents, in part due to the current situation between Russia and Ukraine.
  • This threat comes as schools still deal with vulnerabilities associated with the pandemic and remote learning.
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