Cyber-attacks on several US government agencies and companies in recent months have raised concerns in developing Eastern European countries about their own cybersecurity capabilities.
Over the past year, some of those in the country, such as Northern Macedonia, have experienced some breaches of their state IT systems: last summer, the country suspended its electoral process due to some massive DDoS attacks which happened on election night. The hackers targeted the website of the state election commission, which crashed for a few days before the election results could finally be made available to the public.
In 2019 in neighboring Bulgaria, the data of five million people were stolen in violation of the national tax service. Then the violated database was reported to various hacking forums.
Shortly after the attacks, Bulgarian officials acknowledged the need for further investment in cybersecurity. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said the country would aim to increase the number of IT specialists in the public administration. The country also signed a 10 - year agreement with USA, aimed at enhancing the modernization of the army and cyber security.
Romania also faced several cyberattacks in the same year - ransomware attacks targeted the computer systems of the country's hospitals. If this happened during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the consequences for the country's health system could be dire.
The fragile state of cyber security in its countries area could be exploited by various hackers, with attacks having a devastating effect on their economies - for example, an attack on the banking system could cause tremendous upset. And most of these countries do not have the resources, like their Western counterparts, to invest in enhancement of their cybersecurity, despite their desire to do so.
However, raising awareness of these issues needs to be made more substantial and on a larger scale, says cybersecurity researcher Predrag Tasevski.
One of the solutions for the developing countries of the Balkans would be the introduction of central protection systems covering various government agencies and ministries. Investing in such projects should be a priority for most of these countries, experts agree. One such recent example is Bucharest chosen to host the new EU cybersecurity center - you understand how important this is.
Support from international organizations, as well as enhanced regional cooperation, could be crucial. importance to combat cybercrime in the region. Most countries in the region, with the exception of Σερβία and Bosnia and Herzegovina, are its members ΝΑΤΟ. In March 2020, Northern Macedonia became the newest member of the Alliance. Faced with the possibility of recurrences attacks in cyberspace, the country places its hopes on expertise and NATO infrastructure.
According to Bilyana Lilly, a researcher at the Los Angeles-based RAND Corporation, NATO's mandate is to help its members in the Balkans.
"In 2016, NATO formally recognized cyberspace as an operational area and has made progress in developing centers and platforms that can facilitate coordination and exchange. capabilities in cyberspace between NATO members, "Bilyana Lilly told ZDNet.
Knowing well what attacks the smallest and most fragile countries of Eastern Europe could receive, NATO claims that it offers all the capabilities of his allies.
Source of information: zdnet.com