Cyber-attacks continue to be on the rise throughout the world in which many cybercriminals appear to instigate attacks for personal gain.
However, recent events have shown that there can be greater motives behind cyber-attacks threatening companies and organizations.
Three wind-energy companies were recently hacked since the start of the war in Ukraine, and many believe that these attacks were carried out by Russian sympathizers looking to hinder attempts at becoming energy independent throughout Europe.
While none of these companies has publicly stated what group initiated the attack or if there is any correlation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, given the timing of the cyber-attacks along with the difficulty of hacking industrial organizations, many are beginning to point the finger at Russia.
All the attacks targeted German wind-energy companies and resulted in thousands of turbines being shut down. A ransomware group known as Conti has taken responsibility for at least one of the attacks, and this group is known for being a Russian sympathizer when regarding the invasion of Ukraine.
Governments around the world are seeking alternatives to Russian oil and gas which has surged the importance of renewable energy and nuclear energy. The downside of this is that these alternatives will likely be targets for future cybercrime.
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U.S. companies that have been trying to provide alternative sources of energy to Europe to help mitigate the impact of sanctions on Russia have also been targeted by hacks recently. Fears that any hacker who successfully infiltrates industrial equipment could shut down things like wind turbines and essentially shut down energy production.
Fortunately, the German company Deutsche Windtechnik identified the attack early enough and was able to mitigate damages without being forced to comply with hacker demands. While the company is back on track to restoring itself to full functionality, it is unclear how much these damages will cost the company.
Renewable energy is not the only sector that will be experiencing higher levels of cyberattacks. As the world becomes more dependent on technology the inevitability of a cyber-attack will loom in the minds of organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Developing a robust cyber security framework is pivotal for preventing potential attacks, however, organizations must also develop an effective risk and resiliency strategy that can accurately identify and adapt to emerging global risks.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine may be an uncommon occurrence, however, that is no excuse for not being prepared for it. Organizations must identify potential threats and adjust accordingly to ensure that full functionality remains.
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