The first nation state to develop technologies such as AI, 5G, robotics and quantum computing will gain unparalleled economic, social and military advantage over rivals. It almost goes without saying that, organizations involved in the development of these technologies will become highly enticing targets for nation state-backed espionage.
Steve Durbin, Chief Executive of the ISF
The COVID-19 pandemic has given an unprecedented impetus to the global digitalization process. During the periods of total lockdown, digital space made it possible to preserve the functionality of the global economy, but at the same time, it significantly increased its dependence on processes in the virtual sphere.
As is known, addiction breeds vulnerability. During the pandemic, the massive digital transition led to a parallel increase in cyber threats. This dangerous trend is superimposed on the problem of the absence of any generally accepted rules of conduct between states in global cyberspace. As a result, in 2021 the world may for the first time face a global cyber crisis.
THE BEGINNING OF A CYBER PANDEMIC?
The incident with the Sunburst virus hacker attack, which became known in mid-December 2020, showed the potential scale of modern cybersecurity threats. As a result of the hacker attack, which has already been referred to as “the largest in the history of the United States,” more than 40 key government agencies in America were affected, including the Department of Commerce and Energy, the US Department of State, and a number of important research centers.
The hackers did not act directly by attacking US government facilities, but through the so-called “supply chain” of software provided by SolarWinds. As a result of the hacker attack, about 18,000 of the company’s customers were affected, 80% of which are located in the United States.