In 2019, the United Nations (UN) will address the issue of state-sponsored cyber attacks by enacting a multinational Cyber Security Treaty.
There are many examples of alleged and confirmed cyber attacks launched by nation-states. The U.S. and Israel allegedly launched the Stuxnet attack. The Russian government has been accused of everything from DDoS attacks against Estonia and turning off the power in Ukraine to election and political hacking in the United States. North Korea, meanwhile, has allegedly attacked public and civilian organizations and infrastructure, targeted Sony Pictures and ostensibly caused billions in damage in the WannaCry attack.
Many governments have blamed China for various cyber attacks focused on intellectual property, but the most recent “straw on the camel’s back” is the Supermicro supply-chain attack, where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been accused of sneaking backdoors into servers sent around the world (though many dispute this story). These alleged attacks cost billions in damages and put supply chains responsible for 90 percent of computing devices at risk, showing that cyber attacks often cause enormous economic damage outside of their intended targets.
The growing number of civilian victims impacted by these attacks will cause the UN to more aggressively pursue a multinational cyber security treaty that establishes rules of engagement and impactful consequences around nation-state cyber campaigns. They have talked and argued about this topic in the past, but the most recent incidents – as well as new ones sure to surface in 2019 – will finally force the UN to come to some consensus.
Can’t wait to see what other emerging threats and security trends might surface next year? Watch a special video edition of The 433 – Security Simplified podcast or read the full list of WatchGuard’s 2019 Security Predictions.