July 4, 2022

An expert roundtable discussed Ukraine's experience with cyberwarfare

SSH Communications Security and Ukrainian ISSP - Information Systems Security Partners, signed a partnership agreement on July 22 with the aim to develop joint cybersecurity solutions that will tackle evolving cyber threats. To kick off the partnership, SSH and ISSP co-organized an expert roundtable on June 28 with top cybersecurity experts from both companies.

 

Watch the full webinar below or keep reading to learn about the main highlights.

 

Speaking about Ukraine's cyberwarfare experience and how to combat various cyberattacks, the roundtable was attended by ISSP's co-founder and CEO, Roman Sologub, and ISSP's Enterprise Solutions Director, Artem Mykhailov. On behalf of SSH, Board Member Catharina Candolin and the Head of EMEA region, Rami Raulas, joined the discussion. The host and moderator of the roundtable was SSH's Communications Manager, Lauri Koponen.

The roundtable was divided into three sections. In the first section, the experts discussed the current geopolitical situation and current phenomena and threats in the cybersecurity environment. The second section focused on Ukraine's experience with various cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and state administration. Finally, in the third section, the panelists offered different solutions and concrete lessons for organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity and resilience.

ISSP’s Co-founder and CEO Roman Sologub stated that the cyberwar in Ukraine already began in 2014

“Especially since 2014, Ukraine has experienced cyberattacks against critical infrastructure, massive supply chain cyberattacks like NotPetya, malware attacks, and other attacks against Ukrainian governmental bodies and authorities. After February 24, when the full-scale Russian invasion started, the number of cyberattacks grew, especially during the first month. Now it has been a little bit calmer.

However, we clearly see phishing campaigns activating, and we expect the next massive wave to come in Autumn. I can’t predict if there will be massive data wiping, detonation, or exportation. It could be a massive attack on all fronts or attack on different governmental entities one by one”, concluded Roman Sologub.

ISSP's Artem Mykhailov spoke about the key lessons that eight years of war have taught Ukrainians

“The first conclusion is that critical infrastructure is not always what is listed on official papers or obvious critical infrastructure. Especially during the war, nearly any industry becomes critical because of the avalanche effect. If a citizen simply can’t make a purchase, their cellphone does not work, or they can’t buy a ticket for a bus, it causes panic, affecting every societal process. It is crucial not to underestimate this. Even retail stores, which are highly digitalized nowadays, are under threat.

Conclusion number two is that you need a proper connection to the internet. As we got Tesla’s Starlinks, we were more secure with this additional network. Constant connectivity is a must-have. Capabilities of detecting and monitoring different attacks are conclusion number three. And as conclusion number four, there are never enough health checkups and cyberattack simulations”, lists Artem Mykhailov.

SSH board member Catharina Candolin pointed out that it was not so long ago that cybersecurity, related exercises, and health checks were perceived as science fiction

"However, since 2007, we have seen globally various massive cyberattacks against different states, which has forced them to formulate cybersecurity strategies, as it has become clear that there are both individual criminal groups and completely state actors active on the ground. As a result, there is a realization that the whole society must be involved in building cybersecurity and that this obligation applies to everyone - public authorities, the private sector, and citizens.

The corona pandemic has recently shown that state actors can fish for information, such as vaccine formulas, or individual criminals can try to fool people about vaccine certificates. No one says cybersecurity is science fiction anymore. We may see a full conventional war with cyber dimension for the first time, but this is not the last, " stressed Catharina Candolin.

SSH and ISSP can handle this

SSH has an extensive portfolio of defensive cybersecurity solutions for protecting confidential, sensitive, and critical data and systems in operational technology and critical infrastructures. ISSP protects businesses from advanced cyberattacks by providing 24x7 Cybersecurity Monitoring and Active Response Services, powered by Threat Intelligence and Research services and professional cybersecurity training capabilities.

“If you can answer four basic questions; what my critical data is, where is it, who can access it, and is your data safe in the future, for example, is your data traffic safe from near-future quantum computers, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

If you cannot answer these questions, make sure that, when you manage sensitive data, you have the proper tools for it. Put in place adequate access management and strong authentication. Get away from passwords and get away from keys that can be shared or lost. Only authenticate for the job to be done, just in time, and with just enough access. Also, put proper auditing, monitoring, and recording in place and have appropriate security operation centers for the observation and quick response when something goes wrong”, summarized Rami Raulas.

SSH’s and ISSP’s joint webinars will continue in the Autumn. Stay tuned!

 

Lauri Koponen

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