Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Friday, Mar 24, 2023

How can countries protect themselves against cyber warfare?

How can countries protect themselves against cyber warfare?

Cybersecurity has become a top priority for governments, businesses and critical infrastructure operators, especially since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has been marked by sophisticated cyber attacks.

Cyberattacks on governmental websites were seen more recently in Taiwan when it experienced intermittent outages just before US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in the country earlier this month amid sharp warnings from China before the visit.

Up to 11 convenience stores in Taiwan were also attacked with the television screens behind cashiers abruptly displaying the words: "Warmonger Pelosi, get out of Taiwan!"

But cyberattacks do not just target state websites, they also hit critical infrastructure and even healthcare providers as well as small businesses.

IT teams are facing an uphill battle as spending on cybersecurity and the development of technology has ramped up considerably in the last decade but cyber tech has not stopped breaches from occurring. The question then arises as to why this delta exists between sophisticated technology amid a rise of cyberattacks.

“As we think about the future and where the world is actually moving, it is less from the standpoint of investment and more towards a position of effectiveness and outcome,” said Jonathan Reiber, a cybersecurity expert and former chief strategy officer for cyber policy, US secretary for defence, during the former president Barack Obama’s administration.

Reiber, who is now Vice President of Cybersecurity and Policy at the security platform AttackIQ, told Euronews Next there are several reasons why cybersecurity has become such a big topic.

Russia exploits grey space

The first is due to Russia’s increased cyber attacks on Ukraine and other countries, which have been ongoing for several years and are called “grey space operations”.

These are conducted outside of declared hostilities and are usually ransomware attacks, which deny the user access to the files on their computer and encrypt them and demand a ransom payment for their return.

“We saw a significant increase in cyberattacks in the last three years, particularly as we were putting sanctions and pressure on Russia. Russia is exploiting the grey space,” said Reiber, warning that companies and governments should prepare especially for that.

Another reason for the growing number of cyberattacks, said Reiber, is because there has been a massive increase in the commodification of ransomware as a service, meaning it is a lot easier for criminals to conduct ransomware attacks that are more highly effective.

So how can governments and companies protect themselves?

With regards to governments, Reiber advises them to prepare for contingencies with countries that could conduct a significant attack against their infrastructure.

“Russia and China are the top two from a US standpoint,” said Reiber.

As for Europe, he said it “needs to think about Russia conducting those kinds of operations,” adding that Russian president Vladimir Putin may conduct offensive cyberspace operations when he faces no other options in Ukraine.

“If he's ever on his back foot and he's really losing and he doesn't have any more to do, we might anticipate him conducting more attacks against Europe and the United States,” Reiber said.

Reiber said he worried “a little bit” about Finland and Sweden since they announced their intentions to join NATO in May, because before the war they were not as concerned about what Russia could do and so their cyber defences may not as been as strong as they are now since investment in cyber defence increased.

How to prepare against cyberattacks

Reiber said to build a strong cyber defence, you should not focus on the technology but start with “a certain kind of mindset, you have to assume that you're going to be breached in cyberspace”.

The next step is to then secure the most essential data and then have the right team to help build a cyber defence system and strategy.

After that, he said you must rigorously and constantly test your cybersecurity software to ensure it works.

“The analogy I like to use is like if you build the best navy in the world and you let it sit in port and you never took it out over a year how would you expect it to perform? That's essentially the state of cybersecurity,” he said.

However, it is not just governments that need to be aware of cyber security risks; infrastructure businesses and especially the health sector should also be aware.

“We've seen in the last few years ransomware groups based out of Russia targeting hospitals, targeting civil infrastructure, municipalities,” he said.

“In China, groups are trying to steal intellectual property from medical and research institutions some even tried to steal vaccine data during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Two Chinese hackers were indicted by the US at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 on suspicion of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research, accusations China branded at the time as “groundless claims”.

The healthcare sector is an early target for hackers, said Reiber, adding they need to ramp up their cyber defences “quite significantly”.

He warned the main problem is the lack of investment in the payment systems but more so because health services cannot afford to have their services down for long so they can serve patients and so will pay ransoms.

To avert that situation, Reiber said the key is to invest in your cyber team, prepare the technologies, develop a strategy and test it yourself.

If all that is done, he believes a company can “improve its cyber defence posture” within three to six months.


Related Articles

Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and JD.com, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes