As a result of the Ukraine war, the number of attacks from the network is likely to increase. According to an expert, attacks have already increased during the corona pandemic. Insurers are appealing to companies to make IT security a top priority.

According to IT security experts, the already high level of cyber attacks has increased with Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“Not only have we seen a greater spread of attacks during the pandemic – the risks associated with attacks have increased with the war in Ukraine, as cyber attacks are a tool of warfare,” IT security expert André Kudelski told the dpa news agency. AFX. Kudelski is head of the Swiss encryption and IT security company Kudelski Group.

The landscape of IT systems and machine parks is currently also more vulnerable than it used to be, said Kudelski. “As a consequence of the emergency situation resulting from Covid-related lockdowns, many organizations have made it possible to carry out all functions remotely, including the most critical ones,” said the expert. “This has significantly increased the attack surface for cybercriminals.” Before the outbreak of the Corona crisis, the control of systems was in most cases only possible for experts who were physically present on site. The use of artificial intelligence also enables attackers to carry out more complex attacks and tends to make smaller attacks more profitable, said Kudelski.

German insurers also fear an increase in cyber attacks on the German economy as a result of the Ukraine war. “The longer the war in Ukraine lasts, the more likely cyber attacks on German companies from Russia become,” said Jörg Asmussen, general manager of the General Association of the German Insurance Industry, according to the statement. The editorial network Germany had previously reported.

So far, the insurers have not been able to identify any increased damage since the beginning of the war, but they are assuming a significantly higher risk, it said. “It could not only lead to targeted attacks on individual companies, but also to broader attacks – for example with malware that is sent en masse by email,” said Asmussen.

He called on medium-sized companies in particular to further improve their IT security. “Small and medium-sized companies have by no means exhausted the potential for prevention. In view of the new dangers, IT security should now be a top priority in every company, because a cyber attack can destroy the economic existence of a company in a very short time.»

Kudelski sees a successful business model for private hacker groups above all in being tolerated by states and in return carrying out attacks approved by the state. “If a rogue state is interested in stealing secrets, hackers can be an effective tool to discreetly obtain those secrets without directly involving the government,” the expert said. This often looks like a purely business-motivated attack, for example in the case of so-called ransomware, in which attackers encrypt important data and only release it again for money.

According to Kudelski, hacker groups often organize themselves in a kind of “franchise” model. “People fund cyberattacks with their own money, both to make money and to achieve a goal desired by a rogue state or a corporation – in exchange for the authorities turning a blind eye.” Because cyber attacks could be very profitable, criminals are also very creative in inventing new business models.