Tension In Ukraine Poses Cyber Threats For U.S. And Western Companies, Cybersecurity Analysts Warn

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The spike in cyberattacks over the years has drawn the attention of prominent figures and cybersecurity pundits from every corner of the world. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Edward Panetta likened cyberattacks to the next Pearl Harbor attack.

When Panetta warned of a cyber Pearl Harbor, the Cyber Command was still in its infancy. Panetta said his remarks were simply a wake-up call to millions of U.S. citizens who were unaware of the seriousness of the situation — not many Americans had witnessed cyber attacks on a large scale.

Panetta’s prophecy, which many thought would take a month of Sundays to come, began to quickly unfold. Now, cyberattacks have penetrated every sector from government agencies to big multinational conglomerates, causing billions of dollars in losses.

Cyberattacks Become More Rampant

The attack on SolarWinds Inc. SWI will possibly go down in history as one of the most catastrophic cyberattacks as well as the inception of a new era in cybercrimes. Inquiries into the attack by the FBI, the National Security Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency found that Russia was behind the SolarWinds hack, though President Putin and the Kremlin have denied any involvement.

That was just the beginning. Recently, The Telegram reported a devastating cyberattack on the giant graphics chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. NVDA, which affected the company’s internal system. Some hours later, a dark web research firm called DarkTracer tweeted that Lapsus$, a ransomware gang that claims to be behind an attack on Portugal’s largest TV channel, claimed responsibility for the attack on NVIDIA.

The news on NVIDIA’s attack seemed not to have gone down well with U.S. President Joe Biden, who warned that any attack on U.S. companies will provoke retaliation from the United States. “If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we’re prepared to respond,”  Biden said.

From Ukraine To The West

Before Russia launched ground attacks on Ukraine, a wave of cyberattacks hit the country’s banks and government websites. As the invasion began, a series of attacks were launched targeting IT businesses and defense, aviation, and financial institutions. Attacks such as these are known for shutting down ATMs and trains, switching off lights, and even choking major shipping firms.

As the invasion of Ukraine continues, analysts have warned that the massive cyberattacks inside Ukraine could spill over to countries in the West. The former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Chris Krebs, warned that the conflict in Ukraine poses an unprecedented threat to government agencies and organizations.

Talking to Fortune.com, Derek Vadala, chief risk officer at the U.S. cyber-risk rating firm BitSight, urged companies and organizations to patch their systems against vulnerabilities. According to Vadala, everyone should be in a heightened state of preparedness.

An Example Solution For Cyberattacks

As technology advances, cybercriminals are evolving their tactics and techniques to work around cyber defenses. According to Crowdstrike, on average it takes 98 minutes from the time of a breach to the time that the attacker starts taking data from a company, which highlights how critical it is for cyber analysts to be able to respond to a security incident in real time.

Visium Technologies Inc. VISM, a provider of cybersecurity technology solutions, tools, and services, says its TruContext technology addresses these challenges of early detection and response (EDR), and has integration partnerships with Splunk, Tenable and Datadog Inc. DDOG, among others. Their visualization capabilities allow a user to detect and pinpoint an attack originated by using geolocation data.

Visium is among a growing number of companies such as Darkpulse Inc. DPLS who are creating integrations, software, and services that are meant to counter much of the current threat. However, since cybercrime is an ever-changing phenomenon, there will likely always be a need for continuous improvement and vigilance.

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