Europe is bracing itself for cyber warfare, but is it ready?
When the systems of three oil and transport companies in Europe and Africa were brought down on February 2, 2022, Europe was preparing for a coming war in Ukraine and the impact of tensions on the Russian border were beginning to be felt in global energy markets. The cyberattack sparked a wave of anxiety that a war in Ukraine would quickly expand online, with critical infrastructure at risk. Less than a week after the attack on SEA-Invest, and just eleven days before Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, the European Central Bank warned banks in Europe to brace themselves for a wave of Moscow-sponsored cyberattacks. It is less than 18 months since a new EU cybersecurity strategy was presented by the European Commission and critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, energy grids and railways, were highlighted as a priority, but it also highlighted the risk to everyday homes and offices. “We need to be sure that our systems are reliable,” explained Tanel Sepp, Estonian ambassador-at-large for cybersecurity.