Cybersecurity has risen to prominence in recent months with the news that Russian president Vladimir Putin issued an order giving cybercriminal collectives permission (and support) to target foreign governments and air their dirty little secrets live online. In collaboration with WikiLeaks, (both parties deny this, but evidence suggests otherwise) Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) network and published private emails between the committee members, showing their favoritism for candidate Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. The leaked emails caused a deep divide in the democratic party, with Bernie supporters believing he had been cheated of the Democratic nomination.
It's theorized that Putin wanted to help Trump's campaign win the presidency, and by leaking the DNC's private emails to the public via WikiLeaks, they worked to dismantle Clinton's campaign. As the Trump administration sits in the White House, it's safe to say that the email leaks proved damaging to the Clinton campaign and they were unable to recover.
Seeing Double: Cyber Liability in Politics
Nervous by what they have seen play out on the political stage in the U.S., the Netherlands government has decided that they will manually count votes in next March's Dutch elections. Netherlands interior minister Ronald Plasterk issued a statement saying, \"the cabinet cannot exclude the possibility that state actors might gain advantage from influencing political decision-making and public opinion in the Netherlands and might use means to try and achieve such influence. We're talking about actors that both have the intention and ability to do this.\"
The populist wins of the United Kingdom and the United States (resulting in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump) have made other western governments stop and take pause, particularly given Russia's influence on the U.S. election as discussed earlier.
Some have called the fear over Russia's influence on American and European elections unfounded. In an interview with USA Today, Moscow-based journalist Alexey Kovalev said \"the whole panic about Russians attempting to influence elections around the world is completely exaggerated. It's a very simplistic answer to why you lost an election. It's shifting the blame when you don't like the result.\" This would be a fair statement if there was no evidence to supporting Russian influence in the U.S. election. There is evidence, and the current administration's denial of Russia's influence and the lies they are spreading about millions of people voting in the election illegally shows their shortcomings on cybersecurity and the security of the American public.
If the Trump administration is willing to turn a blind eye to the sabotaging efforts of the Kremlin and reward them with lifting sanctions, why would they stop at the U.S. election? If there is no pushback by other world leaders, why wouldn't Putin try to interrupt other elections in the free world and work to get the alt-right populist elected?
When the administration is unwilling to call out Vladimir Putin and tighten cybersecurity, all you can do is work to tighten your own. By conducting routine cybersecurity checks and investing in a cyber liability insurance plan, you're protecting yourself. Compare cyber plans today with CyberPolicy.