**At the time of this writing, the situation in Ukraine is still unfolding. Portions of this article may change over time as more details emerge.**
Overnight on February 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion into former Soviet Republic Ukraine. While we may not know the outcome and effects of this military action for some time, it is appropriate to consider the effects on SMB and IT.
It is currently being reported that Russia is utilizing widespread cyberattacks as part of their offensive. These attacks are being used to target and immobilize critical infrastructure within Ukraine. Attack targets include Ukrainian businesses, banks, and government infrastructure. Attack vectors appear to include malware distribution and denial-of-service attacks. There have also been reports of data loss, indicating that at least a portion of the malware includes some encryption or data destruction components.
The Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) has been known to use similar tactics in the past, to include against United States interests.
Why It Affects You and Your Business
Cyberattack Spillage/Collateral Damage
With active cyberwarfare occurring, it is difficult to predict the exact outcomes. However, as a Managed Services Provider, we recommend a prudent SMB with IT interests maintain high alert during the conflict. If your business has not yet incorporated security products such as password managers and multifactor authentication, the time is now. (The best time was yesterday, but better late than never.) Additionally, remind employees of common methods of security breach such as phishing. Finally, revisit and review business continuity plans.
There is strong possibility that the cyberattacks will have some spillover effect (also known as collateral damage). This means an attack could affect an unintended target, which occurs relatively easily in a networked system such as the internet. There is also the possibility of human error simply mistargeting and affecting systems within your business’s sphere of influence, whether up or down the supply chain.
Additionally, the Russian invasion brings the possibility of intense political ramifications; in the past, Russia has chosen to respond to situations with cyberattacks specifically directed at U.S. interests. These would most likely utilize similar behavior to what we are currently seeing in Ukraine as well as those we have seen in the past.
For more information, please visit these resources and alerts from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Supply Chain Issues
In addition, instability in Eastern Europe will likely cause supply chain disruption. This is unfortunate timing for the IT world as we have had major disruption from COVID-19 for the better part of two years. Still, Ukrainian and Russian resources are commonly used in the production of semiconductor chips, as well as medical, agricultural, automotive, and many other types of products.
If you have concerns about your IT and current event risks, please give our team of experts a call or CONTACT US!