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Ukrainian Financial Sector Prime Target for Russia

Following yesterday’s vote to implement martial law within Ukraine, many have begun looking at Ukraine’s ability to stand up to Russia.  The main goal of the declaration of martial law is to allow the government to recall reserve and active duty while expanding the armed forces.  Unfortunately for Ukraine, analysts do not believe that this is sufficient time to recall and train a sufficient force to stand up to Russia.  This due largely to the fact that Ukraine’s economy cannot support an expanded military force, let alone finance the expansion, or even finance an armed conflict with Russia.  The Ukrainian government is likely hoping that the declaration of martial law and posturing will buy them time to build up international support and force negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.  The risk of cyber-attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure, especially the financial sector within Ukraine is extremely high right now.

Analyst Notes

Any attack causing significant damage to critical infrastructure would likely over tax the already-strained Ukrainian economy making it even more difficult for them to continue to posture against the Russians.  A significant attack on the financial sector could also easily bring about a quick end to the posturing on the Ukrainian side without significant international support.  While any attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, especially the financial sector, would likely bring increased focus on Russian cyber-operations. This is probably not enough of a deterrent for Russian action as they have rarely let international accusations dictate their actions.  Organizations with strong ties to Ukrainian critical infrastructure, especially finance, should act at a level of increased vigilance throughout this time of increased tension between Russia and Ukraine.