The war in Ukraine has opened up the possibility of Russian cyberattacks which, together with the growing scourge of cybercrime, is keeping CIOs awake at night.

Richard Frost, product head: cyber security at Vox, has rounded up some of the most pressing issues in cyberspace.

Fear surrounding targeted Russian cyberattacks

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Russia has varied and extensive cyber skills and isn’t afraid to use them.

Amid ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, cyber security experts, like Cisco Systems’ researchers, have urged us all to be far more vigilant when it comes to our cyber hygiene, by paying special attention to outdated operating systems and software.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security’s CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency) warns that SMEs are usually the most at risk of ransomware attacks.

Whether Russian cybercriminals plan on launching targeted attacks at countries standing in opposition to their invasion of Ukraine remains to be seen, but there’s never been a better time than now to get your digital house in order.

This means companies and individuals should:

* Back up their computers;

* Vet what they’re clicking on and be vigilant online;

* Use two-factor authentication passwords;

* Change passwords regularly, ensuring they’re long and strong; and

* Make sure software is up to date.

SA’s escalating cybercrime problem

Last month, cybersecurity firm SurfShark listed South Africa as one of the top 10 countries in the world hardest hit by cybercrime – coming in at Number six.

South Africa has also shown one of the sharpest increases in cybercrime in recent years – with a YoY (Year on Year) density increase of a whopping 277%. As always, it pays to stay vigilant.