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The Elevated Cyber Threat Following Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

Shackleton Technologies Dundee - Managed IT Support - Fife - Scotland

Written by Shackleton Technologies

Cyber Threat

The elevated cyber threat following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – What does it mean for businesses in the UK?

How Does It Impact The UK? 

Are you concerned that your UK business might get caught up in the cyber war?  The UK is being urged to increase cyber security measures as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate.    

For years Russia has been the world’s most active nation of hackers and according to a digital report by Microsoft in 2021, Russia was responsible for 58% of all known cyber-attacks during 2020, with the top three targeted countries listed as America, Ukraine, and the UK. 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued new guidance to encourage business owners to stay ahead of any potential threats.  UK businesses need to understand the heightened risk. 

What Has Happened So Far? 

On the 15th of February 2022 the Ukrainian banking sector was the subject of a DDoS (distributed denial of service).  Since this time the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK has confirmed that Russian GRU (main intelligence) was involved in this attack. 

A further attack took place on the 23rd of February involving the websites of several departments of the Ukrainian government (including the Ministry of Defence). 

In response, a group of Ukrainian hackers took the Moscow Stock exchange offline and declared a ‘cyber war’ against Russia, they then claimed they had taken down the Russian state-controlled television network, RT News. 

Looking back at history ‘NotPetya’ a Russian cyber-attack that originally targeted Ukrainian organisations resulted in businesses across the globe being infected after attackers failed to control the malware’s worming capabilities.  Several big companies were badly hit in the attack including Maersk, FedEx and Merck and the attack affected more than 60 countries. 

Although no direct threat to the UK has been confirmed, a recent attack on the UK Foreign Office by a suspected nation state that has not been confirmed has been cause for concern.  The NHS were also placed on a cyber-attack alert. 

Lindy Cameron, Head of NCSC, suggested that UK businesses need to act during times of heightened tension because ‘Cyber-attacks do not respect geographic boundaries.’  The NCSC message is to ‘build resilience and stay ahead of any potential threat’. 


Initial steps to protect your organisation 

Apply security patches 

Hackers will attack software vulnerabilities; therefore, it is essential to make sure all available security patches have been applied to your servers, personal computers, firmware, and network devices.  


Passwords are a layer of protection for your business.  Password Managers can help make this more manageable and secure.   

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) 

A way of providing an additional layer of protection throughout the business is using MFA. 

Passwords can be compromised, which is why we recommend all passwords have an expiration. However, another, more sophisticated solution to securing your credentials is multi-factor authentication. This usually takes the form of an App installed on your phone which will generate a code or send a code via an SMS message to your mobile. Either way, the hacker would need your password and your phone to be able to access your account. MFA is the single most important thing you can use to secure your account.  

Security Awareness Training and Testing (SATT) 

Developing your employee’s awareness around security and how to spot threats significantly reduces the overall risk to your organisation.  

Security Awareness Training & Testing provides cyber security E-Learning combined with a bespoke and targeted service ensuring it meets your business needs. The solution is fully managed, and helps you get all your employees trained and kept vigilant around cyber security. 

Defences Active 

Maintaining your first line of defence solutions such as Anti-virus, Anti-spam and Web Filtering is essential. Ensure these solutions are active and kept up to date. 


Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to UK businesses (according to statistics from NCSC).  Backups safely store your business data.  Are you running regular backups?   

Hybrid Working 

We would encourage businesses to think about the risks that have evolved from the continued implementation of hybrid working environments, leading to an increased reliance on employees working remotely. 

Next Steps 

Look at your current data security and protection toolkit.  Create or update your data and cyber security business continuity plan.  Consider purchasing cyber insurance.  The focus should be on preventative controls. 

Why not get in touch with one of our experienced team members to discuss your cyber security needs.  


Guide on what to implement as a cyber security priority for your business by Shackleton technologies

Our guide on what to implement as a cyber security priority 

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