Security

Cyberattack on industrial control systems can put a whole nation at risk

Ukraine is a hotspot for cyberattacks and there's a lot companies can learn from the country's experience in cyberwar.

Tech Republic's Dan Patterson talks with Karl Holmqvist, CEO of Lastwall and Ryan Brack, Organizer of the Global Cybersecurity Summit [LINKS] about the lessons every company should learn amidst a cyberwar. Ukraine's power grid, railways, and national election system have all recently been attacked, displaying what happens when cyberattacks reach an industrial level.

SEE: Threat intelligence: Forewarned is forearmed (Tech Pro Research)

At the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Summit, a panel of experts discussed Ukraine's vulnerability to cyberattacks. Brack echoed the sentiments expressed at the Summit, explaining that Kiev is a hotbed for industrial vulnerabilities and cyberattacks.

"Most people consider it testbed attacks," Brack said in reference to the most recent cyberattacks in the Ukraine. By saying "testbed," Brack explained that Ukraine could be the trial run for attacks that could be used on other democracies. This notion is particularly unnerving with the US relying so much on critical infrastructure, Patterson stated.

"As we digitize everything, we are going to have everything around us with some kind of connectivity, meaning everything presents an attack surface," Holmqvist said. Organizations need to start implementing security into the original designs of this technology, Holmqvist added, or else things can go very wrong.

With more information and best practice sharing, the stronger organizations will be on the defensive side, Holmqvist said. Education remains the highest priority moving forward, Holmqvist explained, because attacks will just continue happening if people are not aware.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Ukraine has been the testbed for cyberattacks, acting as an example of what happens when cyberthreats target an infrastructure.
  2. The continual digitization of everything increases the threat vector for organizations to be attacked. More connectivity brings more risk.
  3. Education remains the best defense for cyberattacks. By making people aware that these threats exist and are growing, then more people will know what to expect.

Also see

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Image: Leo Wolfert

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is the 2017 summer Editorial intern for TechRepublic. She is an honors student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former intern at Texas Monthly.

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