Cybercrimes are committed every day. It is crucial that businesses are aware and stay up to date on the possible threats that may affect their business. One cybercrime to look out for is state-sponsored cyberattacks.
State-sponsored cyberattacks are issued by hackers that are employed by their state or military authorities. The attack is easy to carry out and is done at a lower cost than if it was issued directly through the military. If an attack was detected, the state would be able to deny involvement easily.
Businesses are a likely target for state-sponsored attacks, because there are usually cracks in their security. The goal of state sponsored attacks is to gather information, exploit people and systems for financial gain, and exploit national infrastructure weaknesses.
A business is more prone to encounter this attack if:
They are highly profitable.
A service is provided that could cause a disruption in daily functions (water, medicine, electric, internet etc.)
Sensitive data is handled.
An active government contract is held.
They are likely to be impacted by IT downtime.
Reason for attacks:
Espionage is most prominent. Attacks of this type target businesses who have classified information or intellectual property. This information can be stolen and used for blackmail or to gain an advantage over another company. An attack like this can go undetected.
Attackers can be the cause of the spread of false information, likely changing political views within a state. This can affect election results and cause distrust of the government. The reputation of a business can also be affected.
Hackers can target companies using ransomware during IT downtime. They obtain money this way by stealing sensitive data and holding that data hostage until a fee is paid.
Since state-sponsored cyberattacks are very sophisticated and well-funded, businesses must prepare accordingly by having a stable antivirus software, encryption, and an appropriate disaster recovery plan. Security awareness should be a common practice within a business. The appropriate security training should be provided to all employees. Isolating critical IT systems from the open internet can also improve a business’s security.
While some businesses believe they are safe from state-sponsored cyberattacks, it is important to note that anyone can fall under the eye of cybercrime. Intelligence is pivotal to a successful defense against cyberattacks.