Due to its geopolitical position in the world, sensitive critical infrastructure, vulnerable to cyber attacks, Ukraine faces special challenges in addressing cyber threats, which exacerbate the already tense situation. Ukraine is a natural target in the cyberspace for participants in cyberattacks and campaigns.
The current landscape of cyber threats includes both governmental and non-governmental actors. These entities can access a variety of cyber tools or weapons, which can then be combined to perform a variety of operations.
Today, states use cyber tools to achieve tactical and strategic goals that are difficult to solve through diplomatic or military means.
The expansion of opportunities in the cybersphere diversifies the balance of power, allowing a wide range of participants to use cyberspace for geopolitical influence or economic gain. Such players can use cyber espionage as a tool to gain geopolitical advantage.
The number of new entrants, both national and non-state actors, is changing the landscape of cyber threats. Due to the use of cyberattacks by one state against another or the cooperation of cybercriminals, this tendency blurs the line between spies and non-state malicious hackers.
The proliferation of cyber tools, which are difficult to control, reduces the level of entry into this area. The ability to purchase or create special cyber tools poses a challenge to national security, the commercial sector and for civilian.
The ability to purchase cyber tools on a commercial basis allows both national and non-state actors to confidently cross the line from an emerging to an identified threat, which can lead to high levels of geopolitical instability. Such conflicts will be more difficult to predict than traditional ones involving the acquisition of modern weapons.
Whether it’s financial gain, information or surveillance, or an offensive attack, cyber participants can conduct effective cyber campaigns at every level. Cybersecurity, especially at the national level, is a strategic game, and Ukraine can make smart investments that will pay off in the long run.