What the DDoS attack on Finland means for companies

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Late last week, the websites of the Finnish Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs were taken down by a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The attacks took place while the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was addressing parliament and just hours after the Defense Ministry reported that a Russian state jet had entered Finnish airspace.

With Finland still weeks away from applying for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), many commentators are suggesting that Russia is behind the attack. If all goes well, it means that the Russian war against Ukraine is starting to create cyber threats that affect even countries that are not physically involved in the war.

Given the impact of NotPetya’s global ransomware attack in 2017 – which caused billions of dollars in damage and is blamed on Russian state actors targeting Ukraine – there is widespread concern that any threats emanating from the Russia-Ukraine war could become global threats. could have consequences.

As a result, unless they want to fall victim to the next generation of state-sponsored threats, enterprises must be prepared for emerging threats of the cyberwar and proactively implement robust security controls to counter the threats.

Cyber ​​warfare is getting hot

Since Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine began, many countries have warned of an impending cyber war between Russia and NATO countries.

Last month, President Biden warned of a potential cyberattack from Russia, stressing that the US administration has “worked closely” with the private sector “to sharpen our ability to respond to Russian cyberattacks”, noting that it would respond if Russia would carry out cyber attacks against American companies.

Similarly, the UK government recently expressed concerns about the global impact of a cyber war between Russia and Ukraine, with a recent NCSC briefing stating that “there has been a historical pattern of cyber attacks on Ukraine with international repercussions.”

If the attack on Finland was carried out by Russian actors, as many commentators suggest, it would signal that the cyber war is flaring up with active malicious campaigns.

The international consequences of the attack in Finland

It is currently unclear whether the DDoS attacks on Finland will have international repercussions, but Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook recommends companies that could cause collateral damage in future attacks.

“The data-erasing NotPetya attack, in 2017, started as a Russian attack on Ukraine and then spread around the world. Companies must anticipate that they could be collateral damage from a similar attack, or that their infrastructure could be used to attack other organizations,” Firstbrook said.

In addition, “organizations directly involved in supporting Ukraine, [on] increased data theft warning. We expect the number of ransomware attacks to increase,” Firstbrook said.

Given the heightened risk of international fallout from a cyber war, companies must be prepared to mitigate potential state-sponsored attacks so they can maintain the integrity of their critical infrastructure.

Firstbrook recommends that organizations take the same steps they would take to protect against all malware attacks; filtering emails, expanding the use of multi-factor authentication, deploying endpoint detection and recovery solutions on servers, regularly backing up critical data, and monitoring for abnormal usage.

At the same time, he suggests that companies should ensure they monitor user accounts for signs of takeover and proactively educate employees about detecting social engineering and credential attacks that hackers rely on to gain privileged access to key resources.

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This post What the DDoS attack on Finland means for companies

was original published at “https://venturebeat.com/2022/04/11/what-the-ddos-attack-on-finland-means-for-enterprises/”