The past few years have brought us some frightening and unprecedented circumstances which most of us have felt unprepared to handle. From the pandemic to massive inflation and then a war that threatens to engage the whole world, we’ve seen crisis after crisis at a seemingly heightened rate, and it seems unclear at best as to when this onslaught will end. One of the most alarming aspects of recent events involves the initiation of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Hours before the invasion began, Russia deployed a new kind of cyber war that was intended to destroy data…and it did.
At the beginning of the invasion, multiple Ukrainian government sites were hit by Russian cyber attacks and were shut down. To think that these kinds of attacks could be isolated to just one country would be incredibly naive.
US assets in Ukraine are certainly not unsubstantial, and these kinds of attacks between Russia and Ukraine can easily be seen as Russia’s testing ground for similar attacks on other countries. Russia has been suspected to be the culprit of several significant cyber attacks on Ukraine over the past several years. They make a good “test dummy” for larger attacks on the UK or even the US as their infrastructure is similar to Western countries.
The question is, what would happen in the case of an all out cyber war? A cyber war could feel like a natural disaster, including power outages, food supply shortages, crippling everyday activities, and many resulting deaths.
Although the US is considered the safest country when it comes to cyber security, the pandemic has broadened its vulnerability, and this kind of attack isn’t an impossibility. Where a massive cyber attack was once considered a conspiracy theory, the threat is now common knowledge, and individuals would be wise to do what they can to prepare for such an event.
Some of the most important preparations are doing things like backing up data, personal information, emails, and medical records offline. We can also ensure we have food and water stored in case of emergency and backup generators.
The world has thrown a lot of new stressors our way in recent years. Now is not the time to panic, but it is the time to be wise and prepared.
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