In the wake of the monumental Russia and Ukraine conflict, cyber warfare has become a dangerous and boundaryless method of attack. In the first 10 weeks of 2022, over 150 cyberattacks were launched against Ukraine, leaving government websites disabled and many other countries with their guards up including the US.
Experts say that the war with Ukraine is likely serving as a live testing ground for the next generation of cyber weapons, as their technology is similar to Western Europe and North America’s but they have limited counter-attack capabilities. Cyber attacks have only grown over time, and even as the EU and the US work to support Ukraine’s defenses, these cyber attacks are unlikely to stay within Ukrainian borders.
Cyber war will be a threat to physical and digital assets, as data breaches and cyber security attacks costed companies $4.24 million per breach in 2021. The pandemic only heighted the potential for this damage as countries across the globe work towards fighting isolated cyber attacks and more detrimental cyber wars.
Cyber attacks are less aggressive and usually shut down electrical grids, destroy technology, or self-destruct power infrastructure. On the other hand, cyber war is much more dangerous and can cause widespread damage, loss of electricity, water or food access, a massive disruption to everyday activities, and even death.
Almost 95% of Americans fear cyber war against the US, and even though reports show that the US is the most cyber secure country, only 19% of Americans are totally confident that the government can protect citizens from cyber warfare. Many people have already started taking protective measures by updating personal software, backing up important documents, changing passwords, and backing up emails. The lines on the battlefield are more blurred than ever with cyber warfare, showing further the benefit that these preventative methods can bring to citizens across the United States and beyond.