The war in Ukraine has amplified fears related to cybercrime and even “cyberwar”. A threat which has also increased since the coronavirus pandemic with the increased use of teleworking, where each employee becomes a potential target.
If the sudden ringing of all the bells of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna in the middle of the night can still be associated with a joke on the part of hackers and also a form of warning, it is quite different with intrusions into the systems of a company or an administration.
Such actions, often carried out by mafia organizations, result in the deletion or theft of data. The targeted computer systems are then paralyzed. In the worst case, confidential data is published on the internet, at least in its least accessible part, known as the “darknet”, as happened recently to the detriment of medical practices based in the canton of Neuchâtel.
A taste of cyber warfare
The attack that targeted Viasat, an American satellite Internet access service company last February, is for its part considered a skirmish in cyberwar. Operators of German wind power plants had to admit that they had temporarily and partially lost access to their installations.
However, experts believe that the real target was Ukraine. If such operations raise the specter of a global cyber conflict in which several major powers would destroy technical infrastructures via software attacks, some experts put this scenario into perspective.
“The more intense the effects we want to obtain, the longer and more unreliable these operations will be,” said political scientist Lennart Maschmeyer, researcher in cybersecurity at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH).
Protection at all levels
In terms of computer attacks, the threat has also increased in the context of the increased use of home working. “Hybrid workstations have massively increased the attack surface. Each employee becomes a potential target and therefore each device or network represents a gateway,” explains Adrian Müller, Managing Director of HP Switzerland.
“Protecting endpoints such as laptops and printers is therefore crucial. Intelligent and resilient hardware that can detect threats, repel attacks and recover quickly when needed helps contain and neutralize threats. cyber threats,” Müller observes.
But protecting against computer dangers also involves numerous organizational measures. To this end, Swisscom has published a guide (www.swisscom.ch/security) explaining many technical terms and what an SME should know about cyber threats.
At the political level, however, Switzerland is lagging behind. While in the European Union cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure (electricity, water, finance) have long been subject to a notification obligation, the corresponding project in Switzerland is still in the consultation phase.
Individuals can protect themselves quite easily. Among the recommended measures, it is advisable to copy important data to a backup medium not permanently connected to the computer and to open email attachments with caution or to scan them using specialized solutions such as virustotal.com.
Finally, it is advisable to manually enter the addresses of the websites and to carry out regular hardware and software updates.
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats