The conflict in Ukraine that began in February was expected by many to be brief. However, as we approach the two-month anniversary of Russia’s aggression against its neighbor, it’s difficult to deny that this conflict will alter the global landscape significantly, and have widespread impacts on many areas of daily life. Though the violence is thousands of miles away from the United States, Americans have felt the shockwaves of this war in many ways—through inflation, rising gas prices, shortages of certain products, and more. For business owners, the conflict has brought to light just how important cybersecurity can be for companies of all sizes. How does a war between two countries on the other side of the world impact the cybersecurity of American businesses? Here’s what you should know.
Cyberwarfare Comes to the Forefront of Modern Wars
It’s been decades since the world has seen a conflict of this scale, and while cyberattacks are certainly nothing new, the use of it to further military campaigns is not something that the average American has seen to the same extent that we are now seeing it in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. When Russia began its incursion into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it attacked on multiple fronts—including digital fronts.
Russian hackers have targeted Ukraine’s government and banking systems using data-wiping malware. Hackers from other countries—including private hacking groups like Anonymous—have retaliated by attacking Russian websites, internet service providers, and other systems in an effort to impede their military campaigns. With hacking coming to the forefront of warfare in the modern age, it is difficult for American business owners to ignore the threat that cyberattacks can pose. After all, if a teenaged hacker can track Russian jets, a more experienced hacker could almost certainly infiltrate your business’s network and gain access to sensitive documents.
American Businesses Threatened by Russia
Concerns for the cybersecurity of American businesses is not unfounded. Russian-aligned hackers have promised retaliatory measures against US businesses due to the numerous sanctions leveled against Moscow, crippling the country’s economy. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned of an increased risk of attacks from Russia, and Conti—a well-known, pro-Russia ransomware group—has publicly announced that they intend to “use our full capacity to deliver retaliatory measures” against America.
While these threats tend to be targeted at government entities and the aviation and energy sectors, private business owners are not necessarily safe. There have been reports of prior ransomware victims of Conti having their data posted to the dark web, even after paying the ransom, as retribution for the US government’s open support of Ukraine.
Business Owners Take Additional Steps to Protect Data
With the increased threat of cyberattacks and the development of new malware HermeticWiper in the war in Europe, American business owners are now taking additional steps to protect data. Increased network security measures are just the beginning. As companies enter into mergers and acquisitions, a plethora of private information must be reviewed and exchanged, posing an ideal opportunity for hackers to steal or wipe that valuable data.
This is why many business owners are turning to virtual data rooms (VDRs) for a more secure, private method of moving through the M&A process. VDRs, such as the CapLinked virtual data room, include built-in data security measures that protect you from becoming the target of retaliatory measures from pro-Russia hackers.
In the modern world, where war is waged with malware as much as it is with firearms, proper protection of your company’s data is essential.