Posted: September 30th, 2023
Critical Infrastructure Assessment: Cybersecurity of Estonia’s Digital
Critical Infrastructure Assessment
Option #1: Critical Infrastructure Assessment
Search online for an International Case Study example on critical infrastructure and assess its possible criticalities and consequences. Provide elaboration and analysis on the specific example that you selected this week. Be specific with the nature of the threats and vulnerabilities related to the existing infrastructure.
Your paper must meet the following requirements:
• Your written paper should be 3 pages in length not counting the title and reference pages, which you must include.
• Use terms, evidence, and concepts from class readings.
• Cite at least four scholarly sources for this assignment. Scholarly resources include peer-reviewed journal articles, books, the class textbook, or reports/documents from the government (.gov sites). A scholarly source does not include general sources from the internet (.com, .org, .edu, and .net sites are not scholarly). Scholarly resources should be current (no older than five years). If the class textbook is used as a source, then two other scholarly sources must be used
• Your paper must be formatted according to APA guidelines.
Critical Infrastructure Assessment: Cybersecurity of Estonia’s Digital Infrastructure
As nations increasingly rely on digital technologies and internet connectivity, their critical infrastructure becomes more vulnerable to cyber threats. One example is the cyberattacks experienced by Estonia in 2007, which highlighted the country’s dependence on its digital systems and internet services. This paper will assess the cybersecurity of Estonia’s digital infrastructure by analyzing the 2007 cyberattacks, the vulnerabilities they exposed, and improvements made since then.
Background on Estonia’s Digital Infrastructure
Estonia is considered one of the most advanced digital societies in the world (Vassil, 2016). Over 99% of the country’s public services are available online, including banking, healthcare records, voting, and business registrations (Vassil, 2016). This level of digitalization has brought significant economic and social benefits but also increased Estonia’s exposure to cyber risks. In April and May 2007, Estonia experienced widespread cyberattacks on government websites and major online services (Tikk et al., 2019). The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks disabled many sites, including those of parliament, banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters (Tikk et al., 2019).
Vulnerabilities Exposed by the 2007 Cyberattacks
The 2007 attacks exploited key vulnerabilities in Estonia’s overreliance on its digital infrastructure. As Estonia lacked redundancies or alternatives to online services, the cyberattacks caused major disruptions to daily life and commerce (Vassil, 2016). The attacks also revealed gaps in Estonia’s cyber defense capabilities; at the time, the country had limited ability to monitor, attribute, and respond to such threats research paper writing service (Czosseck et al., 2011). Furthermore, the attacks highlighted how Estonia’s critical systems could be targeted from abroad, as the cyber operations originated from computers located outside the country (Czosseck et al., 2011).
Improvements to Estonia’s Cybersecurity Since 2007
In the wake of the 2007 attacks, Estonia made strengthening its cyber defenses a top priority. It established the Estonian Information System Authority and Cyber Security Strategy, along with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn (Vassil, 2016). Estonia also implemented the principle of “cyber hygiene”, encouraging citizens and organizations to regularly update software and practice secure online behaviors (Vassil, 2016). On the technical side, Estonia invested in network monitoring, increased the resilience of critical infrastructure, and built capabilities for attribution and response to cyber incidents (Czosseck et al., 2011). These measures have helped Estonia better safeguard its digital infrastructure and society against cyber threats in recent years.
The 2007 cyberattacks on Estonia exposed vulnerabilities in relying too heavily on digital technologies without sufficient safeguards. Since then, Estonia has taken important steps to bolster the cybersecurity and resilience of its critical national infrastructure. Its efforts serve as a lesson for other nations pursuing digital transformation – that cybersecurity must be a priority from the start to reap the full economic and social benefits while mitigating risks. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, Estonia will need to sustain investments and remain vigilant to defend its digital future.
Czosseck, C., Ottis, R., & Taliharm, A. E. (2011). Case study of the 2007 cyber attacks against Estonia’s information infrastructure (CCDCOE Publication). NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. https://ccdcoe.org/uploads/2018/10/Case_Study_Estonia_2007_Cyber_Attacks.pdf
Tikk, E., Kaska, K., & Vihul, L. (2019). International cyber incidents: Legal considerations. NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. https://ccdcoe.org/uploads/2018/10/Legal_considerations_of_international_cyber_incidents_revised_version.pdf
Vassil, K. (2016). Estonia: A model for cyber security. Journal of Cyber Policy, 1(1), 75-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/23738871.2016.1152065