A new Cyber Cold War: Be Prepared to Ensure Business Continuity

Recent reports suggest that we could be on the brink of a cyber security cold war, and that this war will be conducted in the online world as Western and Easter powers increasingly separate their intelligence and technologies. But how will this cold war play out, and how can businesses prepare for it and be resilient to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster?

Western Cyber Security vs Eastern Cyber Security

This new cyber cold war is intensifying – the ongoing trade war between China and the USA together with the these two huge economies splitting apart is a clear sign. Cyber-attacks will increasingly be proxy-conflicts between smaller countries, with an emphasis on those funded and enabled by large nation states wanting to consolidate and extend their spheres of influence. This has been seen in the recent cyber operations against Iran which followed attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities.

In addition, utilities and the critical national infrastructure will continue to be a target of cyber-attacks. This was seen from cyber-attacks on South African utility companies earlier this year. These tend to happen because in many cases water distribution infrastructure and critical power uses older technology that is vulnerable to being exploited remotely. Upgrading it often risks service interruptions and downtime. All nations need to look at radically strengthening their cyber defences around their critical national infrastructure to avoid being part of this new cyber security cold war.

How Can Organisations Stay Resilient Against This New Cyber Cold War?

In order to stay resilient against the growth of this new Cyber Cold War organisations need to ensure that their cyber defences are strong enough and robust enough to defend against incoming cyber-attacks. For example, ransomware is becoming highly targeted against specific types of businesses with attackers spending more time gathering intelligence on their proposed victims. This can ensure they inflict maximum disruption and as a result they scale up the amount asked for in ransoms accordingly.

In addition, phishing attacks today go well beyond email, and while email remains the number one attack vector cybercriminals will often use a variety of other ways to try and trick their victims and gain access to critical systems. Mobiles and social media platforms are seeing a huge increase in phishing, and a recent LinkedIn phishing/malware campaign has tricked many users of the platform into giving away personal information and data.

One key way that organisations can be resilient against this new Cyber Cold War is to take out a robust cyber insurance policy. These types of insurance policies will become much more commonplace in the future, and if the worst should happen your insurance underwriter will be able to help with the recovery from an attack and cover the cost of your work area recovery or disaster recovery provision. Whatever you do it is not wise to adopt a “head in the sand” approach believing that your organisation will never be targeted.

Final Thoughts

One key way that organisations can improve their resilience against this new Cyber Cold War is to ensure they have modern and flexible Work Area Recovery, which includes replacement infrastructure such as PCs and telephone systems. This provides a fall back within minutes for staff to continue delivering critical business services in the event that the infrastructure is locked down. It also provides technical staff helping staff continue, while the in house IT team work hard to recover the work environment.

Relying on cyber insurance to compensate once a disaster happens should be the very last resort as the damage to your reputation and customer base will have already happened and is extremely difficult to ever recover from.

Contact us today to find out more.