In the dark woods of cyber threats, cyberwarfare is not just as standard threat. It is much more serious than that.
It is no secret that big and key strategic businesses are the targets of very sophisticated cyber threats. Many of them are, not surprisingly, state-sponsored.
Indeed, such businesses lie at the crosshairs of governments, national intelligence agencies, and even terroristic groups.
In this piece, we aim to investigate what are effects of cyberwarfare on national economies and how nations could protect themselves.
Cyberwarfare: what is it?
First, let’s define what cyberwarfare is.
Cyberwarfare refers to those activities carried out by a nation-state or international organizations meant to damage the infrastructures of another nation.
Moreover, we may extend this definition to the digital infrastructure of key strategic businesses. These may operate in defense or energy sectors, for instance.
In any case, these businesses concur to the proper defense of a country and they are vital as a result.
Therefore, it is highly convenient that cyberwarfare actors aim at those private businesses strategic to the state.
A peculiar characteristic of cyberwarfare is that is much cheaper than traditional warfare. The threat actor just needs an hardware infrastructure, some research, and an Internet connection to wage a cyber war.
Thus, states could save on armies, logistics and weaponry to attack an adversary.
Moreover, cyberwarfare is politically risk- free and asymmetric: attacks are anonymous, so is the originator of the threat.
We have defined it, but how can damage national economies?
First, there are different types of cyberwarfare. We list the most common ones:
And last but not least,
- Infrastructure attacks
All these types of attacks well suit to attack a given strategic economic player, and thus, the national economy and the state.
You may list the recent Sunburst cyberattack under this category, as well as those against vaccines producers.
Finally, the types of attacks and the techniques involved are similar to those employed by common cybercriminals. However, they tend to be more disruptive.
Conclusion: cyberwarfare and national economies
States and international organizations should take cyberwarfare seriously, both in time of peace and of war.
In many respects, they are already doing that. For instance, since 2010 NATO organizes the Locked Shields wargame as an yearly exercise to meet this threat. The European Union holds similar initiatives.
Nations brace for mitigating this kind of threat. With regard to Italy, the government has activated the Nucleus for Cyber Security. Click on the CSIRT website for more information.
Wanna know more? Visit our dedicated blog on the 2020 state of cyber wars here, then!
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