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Mitchell Gross
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Cyber-Attacks Can Pose Major Threats Similar to Nuclear Weapons

It goes without saying that nuclear weapons could have catastrophic consequences. A less frequent thought is that cyber-attacks by hackers could cause more harm than nuclear weapons. There are numerous ways cyber-attacks can cause major damage and we need to be aware of the possibilities and have the greatest protection in place to control the potential outcomes. To the public’s eye, most of the well-known hacks have only stolen data.

There are many different ways hackers can have a large-scale affect on the world. A few alarming examples that happened across the globe in the last few years include:

  • In 2016, hackers altered the chemical mixture of a US treatment plant for drinking water. If the hacker’s changes went unnoticed it could have led to unusable, poisonous water.
  • In 2016 and 2017, hackers shut down major sections of the power grid in Ukraine. Although no damages were done, it could have led to a serious crisis.
  • In 2018, cybercriminals gained access to the UK’s electricity system and again in 2019 to the US grid.
  • In 2017, hackers tried to blow up equipment in a Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant by taking control of industrial use electronics
  • In 2017, hackers gained control of a contractor’s system to shut down the monitoring systems for oil and gas pipelines across the US.

Continuing with the theme of nuclear destruction, there is a somewhat controlled idea that no nation shall attack with a nuclear-powered weapon against another nuclear armed nation so that they don’t destroy each other while defending. This same protection doesn’t exist for cyber-warfare. A cyber-attack can disguise its location and can also have small scale attacks that can go unnoticed. A large scale, nuclear grade cyberattack can happen at any time and for several reasons. Just as we defend against the possibility of a nuclear attack, we must do the same for these cyber-attacks.

There is no defense to stop nuclear attacks, but there are ways to make it less catastrophic. The same applies for businesses and individuals protecting themselves from cyber-attacks. Having a strong line of defense can make it much harder for the hacker to exploit your system and deter them from causing damage internally. In order to have this protection in place we must invest in skilled cybersecurity workers or third-party organizations. This career path has always been understaffed as the issue of cybersecurity continues to advance. It is imperative to provide more training, education, and information of the latest threats and strategies. RB Advisory can be your one stop for all your cybersecurity needs. We protect businesses of all sizes providing cybersecurity, compliance, breach exercises, awareness training, and more!

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