May 23, 2022

America is not ready to fight against Russia in a cyberwar

Russian President Vladimir Putin is continuing to wage war against Ukraine on many fronts. However, the one place he isn’t attacking has experts from Auburn University’s McCray Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security on alert.

Russia has a history of launching cyberattacks, yet the U.S. is still ill-prepared as Putin is on the offensive, according to a Fox News opinion piece penned by McCray Institute director Frank J. Cilluffo and deputy director for policy Sharon L. Cardash. The authors contend the time to prepare is now.

Putin is currently on the offensive in Ukraine but has not gone after their networks despite a successful cyberattack on the country in 2015-2016. Russia previously breached online systems in Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008, leading some to believe the U.S. needs to plan now.

“The good news is that certain key sectors that represent critical infrastructure and support vital national functions have been enhancing their defenses for years,” Cilluffo and Cardash noted. “The bad news is that other equally important sectors are nowhere near as prepared,” they later added.

“Think water – which is working to up its game but is nowhere near where it needs to be as the recent spate of ransomware has made clear,” the piece pointed out about cyberattacks on infrastructure. “And this is the state of play among the big dogs.”

They contended that a centralized solution via the Department of Homeland Security could go a long way to shore up vulnerabilities by “appointing a National Cyber Director.” The authors also suggested private entities work alongside the government to make it happen.

“What comes next is anybody’s guess. But forewarned is forearmed. Let’s push down the path to better preparedness as fast and hard as we can so that we don’t end up regretting that we missed our chance to do so,” the piece concluded.

There’s no doubt Putin has the motivation and the know-how to launch a devastating cyberattack on the U.S. As Cilluffo and Cardash point out, there’s no time to waste preparing for what some consider inevitable.

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