Ukraine tensions bring UK cyber security into focus
While the world watches with bated breath at the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the first shots may have already been fired – in the virtual battlefield.
That is the conclusion of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a UK Government Agency tasked with supporting the most critical organisations in the UK against online threats.
The NCSC observes that a recent uptick in malicious incidents in and around the Ukraine matches the pattern of cyber-attacks conducted by Russian hackers in the build-up to previous conflicts.
The NCSC goes on to strongly urge UK businesses to increase their vigilance in the face of potential Russian attacks and provides a number of suggested steps to help reduce their risks, including:
- patching systems;
- improving access controls and enabling multi-factor authentication;
- implementing an effective incident response plan;
- checking that backups and restore mechanisms are working;
- ensuring that online defences are working as expected, and;
- keeping up to date with the latest threat and mitigation information.
The guidance goes on to suggest that, while it is primarily aimed at larger organisations, any company in the UK could be impacted.
Regardless of whether the battle for Ukraine stays in the digital realm or if real shots are actually fired, the pattern of state sponsored hackers and criminals targeting private and national organisations has already been established.
In 2021 it is estimated that the global cost to GDP of cyber-crime hit the $6 trillion mark, a new record.
It is clear that all organisations with an online presence need to consider the existing and emerging risks they are being faced with.
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