Why Russia’s Cyberattacks on Ukraine Matter To You – Warning to all U.S. Business Leaders

What is going on with Ukraine and Russia? What could this mean for cyber-attacks, cyber criminals, and quite frankly, your business? Well, hopefully this blog will change your mind a little bit about what could be happening with cyber criminals around the world and why it's going to impact your business. Let's get into what is going on out there in the world and what's happening in Ukraine. Then, explain what's going to happen potentially to your business by cyber criminals. So, let's get into it.

Ukraine is obviously being attacked or invaded by Russia. Now we already are seeing reports of cyber-attacks against Ukraine in their government and banking sector. People have asked what Xact IT thinks will happen. Our response is immediately Russia would do these distributed denial of service attacks or DDoS attacks, which basically means that traffic is flooded to these entities, to these banks, to these government websites, to these government networks. Thus, causing these government networks and websites to shut down. This makes their network traffics slow down to the point where they cannot conduct business and do their normal things like communicate with people, send emails, process transactions, things like that. This is what a DDoS attack does.

DDoS attacks can happen to anybody unless you have certain protections in place. I they're done by the right people, especially by governments, they can be really difficult to stop and prevent. That’s what we're seeing going on over in Ukraine right now. This is going to happen as this situation escalates and things get worse. Also, right before this happened, many people saw the Russians start to work with the United States and take down some cyber criminals. Well, coming from a cyber expert with this going on, Russia's not even going to worry about private cyber criminals in their country and how they operate. As well, Russia’s not going to work with the United States at this point on this issue because of what's going on.

This whole situation is unfortunate because many people were starting to see some progress. Then, this happened, which is going to deteriorate any diplomatic or legal means that the United States had to stop this, prevent this, and stop it from growing. As an expert this would give me a green light to private cyber criminals within the borders of Russia to attack businesses and entities around the world, and really nobody's going to stop them. So, in the fall there were reports that there were lots of network intrusions against transportation and shipping companies. Cyber experts put that warning out. As this is happening, Expeditor’s shipping is under attack. So, these cyber criminals and Russia knows that the supply chain is very fragile right now. Any disruption in any way to shipping only makes things worse.

This is a very interesting time now with inflation and supply chain shortages, and these cyber-attacks can exacerbate these things. They can cause more shipping delays. This Expeditors shipping is one of the largest ones around and they are shut down right now because of a cyber-attack. That’s why society needs to worry about. The whole world needs to be concerned that these private cyber criminals are going to start attacking United States businesses and other businesses around the world, especially in Western Europe. These businesses are all going to be a target for these cyber criminals, because they know that their government isn't going to work with the United States any longer, at least for the foreseeable future. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise that if in the next month or two or however long this conflict goes on for, that people will see an increase in cyber-attacks against major, major entities and businesses, but please don't think you're too small.

There is a podcast called Security Squawk, where cyber experts discuss these issues. There was one released on Tuesday and there was an individual on who just helped a small business through a ransomware attack. So, this is happening to businesses big and small. But people oftentimes think that the big guys are the only ones getting hit because they can pay millions. These cyber criminals want to demand millions, but there's lots of cyber-criminal groups out there that are doing things at different levels. There's still individuals being attacked with ransomware ever every day, where they only have to pay 500 or 1,000 to get their family photos and music and things like that back off their personal computer. That's still a thing. Hitting small businesses for a few hundred thousand dollars is still a thing.

Meanwhile, hitting big businesses for millions of dollars is still a thing too. So please start getting a cybersecurity program in place in your business. Start looking at things like zero trust, start looking at things like multifactor authentication, password managers, password hygiene, don't reuse passwords. These are all things that are known, tried in true technologies that slow down cyber criminals or basically make them go somewhere else because they know that they can get into a company easier than maybe if you put some of these precautions in place than it is to hack you.

Xact IT will keep updating as we learn more about this conflict and how it impacts you and your business and things going on in the world. But as of right now, we're seeing the denial service attacks on these Ukrainian entities. We wouldn't expect to see these DDoS attacks expand into United States, maybe into Europe and Western Europe potentially, depending on how far things go. But Xact IT does absolutely think that there will be an increase in the private sector with these cyber criminals attacking companies because they know these governments are tied up with more important things.