Digital Cold War: Russian Cyber Attacks Create Big Loss for Business


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There’s very little doubt left as to whether Russia has been hacking into large organizations in the United States, including democratic institutions, businesses and public infrastructure. No computer’s safe from harm, regardless of internet connectivity. In some cases, flash drives and other external data sources infect systems that are deliberately off the grid. Russian hackers have been using multiple vectors of attack to penetrate cyber defenses, causing billions of dollars of losses to enterprise and public institutions. Organizations of all sizes must protect themselves through constant vigilance, external assessments and fundamental security checks such as two-factor authentication.

Digital Cold War Russian Cyber Attacks Create Big Loss for Business

Russian Hacking Threat Grows
While it’s impossible to attribute exact figures to specific cyber criminals, recent revelations from the FBI have confirmed what many claimed during the 2016 election campaign — specifically, that Russia had managed to hack DNC servers, compromising the digital infrastructure one of the biggest democratic organizations. Other targets have emerged from operation “Grizzly Steppe,” including Russian malware found in at least one American utility company, the Burlington Electric Department located in Vermont.

Estimates from the Wall Street Journal suggest that cyber crime cost the United States upwards of $100 billion in 2015. This number’s considered conservative, with some experts implying costs reaching $1 trillion. Lloyd’s estimate for cyber crime damages in 2015 was $400 billion. In 2019, Juniper Research states, data theft will cost companies $2.1 trillion, partially because of the increased digitization of consumer data. These numbers represent staggering losses, draining a considerable amount of productivity from the efforts of enterprise. Based on these estimates alone, organizations need to invest in cyber security measures that mitigate digital risks.

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