What's Next for Cyber Warfare?

If you read a lot of cybersecurity news, you know that cyber threats are becoming more common and more destructive. In response, many industries are boosting their cybersecurity chops to combat the bad guys. This is sometimes referred to as the digital arms race, and there are no signs of slowing down in the near future.

In fact, many countries are looking to step up their efforts. Reuters reports that a group of NATO allies is considering a "more muscular approach to online threats from state-sponsored hackers. Below, CyberPolicy looks at the new trends in cyber warfare and what it could mean for businesses like yours.

War Games?
"There's a change in the NATO mindset to accept that computers, just like aircraft and ships, have an offensive capability, says U.S. Navy Commander Michael Widmann at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence. "I need to do a certain mission and I have an air asset, I also have a cyber asset. What fits best for me to get the effect I want?

As you can see, NATO is mulling a more offensive defense in regards to cybersecurity. This could be for a number of reasons. However, one of the most pronounced is the Russia issue.

According to some, Russian-backed hackers are attempting to break Western unity over economic sanctions by attacking energy companies and telecom networks. Not to mention Russia's dedicated disinformation campaigns, as seen in the United States' 2016 presidential election.

So far, the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and France have set up cyber commands. Cyber commands are special headquarters developed to combat digital espionage efforts and to thwart the digital hacking of critical infrastructures.

But these five nations won't be the last. Estonia is already making plans to establish their cyber command and make it fully operational by 2020.

"You cannot only defend in cyberspace, says Erki Kodar, an undersecretary for administrative affair who also oversees cyber defense policies.

So, what does this mean for business? Well, good cybersecurity doesn't just depend on a single company, industry, or nation. It depends on collaboration to face down serious threats. While many experts warn about a 9/11-esque cyberattack in our future, state-sponsored hackers are already victimizing private businesses.

For instance, China was accused of stealing intellectual property for U.S. tech, financial, and healthcare companies before being confronted by the Obama administration. China has downsized these operations, although there is evidence that they have not stopped completely.

And who could forget North Korea's hacking of Sony Pictures in 2014? The U.S. has already pinned the responsibility for the WannaCry ransomware attacks on the country and warns that more attacks are on the way.

By promoting partnerships (government to government, government to business, and business to business), we can overcome even the most daunting cybersecurity threats. Collaboration is key to developing defensive technologies, strategies, and regulations to keep everyone safe.

But while we wait for top-down leadership to become concrete, small businesses would do well to invest in cyber insurance. Visit CyberPolicy to find out more about this essential service.

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