Although the chances of getting caught up in a state sponsored cyber-attack are relatively low, the consequences can be damaging. The coordinated disclosures around Russian cyber spying attempts highlight that the sports industry is now among the targets of these attackers, emphasising the need for businesses to consider multiple aspects of cyber security. Cyber security is an ongoing process and only a concerted and multi-layered approach will effectively mitigate the risks.
Many will be unsurprised that the Russian government has been spying on countries it views as geopolitical competitors. Espionage is, after all, the second oldest profession and something that is not unique to that part of the world – the British have a fictional national hero based on the concept. The same can be said for influence campaigns, or propaganda, which has been embraced by most developed militaries around the world. The use of computers and the internet to conduct espionage and influence campaigns is more recent but is now widespread and broadly acknowledged. Reports of alleged Chinese state hacking put the activity from one group as far back as 2006 and, in recent years, cyberespionage campaigns have become a commonplace form of attack that businesses need to consider when preparing their defences.
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