Russia’s IT sector has withstood Western sanctions
“Manifold sanctions, the unscrupulous and politically motivated behaviour of suppliers and producers of foreign software and equipment, and an increased number of cyber-attacks on state and commercial infrastructure – all this is the challenge of today. Our country has adapted rapidly to these challenges. <...> The government is endeavouring to act proactively, to provide as much support as possible to the IT sector, including with regards to legislative regulation,” Tatyana Matveeva, Chief, Presidential Directorate for the Development of Information and Communication Technology and Communication Infrastructure.
“We have managed to thwart all cyber-attacks; we have managed to withstand the departure of 2,000 foreign software products. Everything continues to work. We are developing new products that should be better than the previous ones,” Valentin Makarov, President, RUSSOFT Association.
“We have a very strong digital state. We are world leaders in terms of the digitalization of the state. The business sector has also attained a very high standing, so we need to talk to each other at a level which is more professional, more secure and at the same time, open,” Anna Serebryanikova, President, Big Data Association.
A current lack of IT solutions to respond to the challenges posed by Western companies and personal data leaks
“Our country, the industry, is facing unprecedented challenges. <...> We consider ourselves to be in the red zone of risk. There are two fairly fundamental problems here. Everyone knows about the first problem – it is our dependence on the Western microelectronic industry. <...> Many enterprises and companies in our country are working to address this. The second problem that we need to solve is our dependence on trends set by Western companies that have had decades to build themselves up. Here the only answer is to build our own ecosystems, and develop groundbreaking solutions and technologies,” Andrey Efremov, Business Development Director, Kaspersky Lab.
“About 75 major data breaches were recorded in 2023. These are all rough figures, but around 200 million records about Russians have been leaked on the network since the beginning of 2023. We are currently running checks on these. <…> Essentially, anonymized data is already being exchanged. You see it happening, but cannot do anything about it. In fact, this somewhat resembles covert surveillance of a person. In the past, this was something only the intelligence branch of law enforcement was able to do. Today, however, this sort of thing is available to furniture and car sellers, for example. <...> Anonymized data can be enriched with data on a person’s movements, medical information, information from fiscal data operators, and data on services provided to the individual in question. That way, a digital profile of the individual can be built, turning concepts such as privacy, private life and family secrets on their head,” Milosh Wagner, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media.
“This year we have seen a sharp increase in the number of leaks. This is particularly true of personal data. <...> All further manipulations with personal data begin with data leaks. Previously, leaks happened for commercial purposes – to sell the data on, for example, or to use it to commercial ends. Now, data is mainly used against specific people, such as those participating in the special military operation, members of their families, intelligence agencies, or military personnel. This all poses quite a substantial threat,” Natalya Kasperskaya, President, InfoWatch Group.
“We have analysed more than 200,000 companies with 30 to 200 computers, and have found that they cannot afford IT security for two reasons. The first is that it is expensive to make that one-off investment. The second is that they are unable to hire a good specialist,” Lev Matveev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, SearchInform.
Drawing up a legislative framework in Russia that will help ensure technological sovereignty and protection against data leaks
“We all understand what a technological confrontation is. The situation will continue for quite some time to come, so we must come up with a development strategy, work to replace imports with domestic alternatives, and develop our sovereignty – all similarly for the long haul,” Tatyana Matveeva, Chief, Presidential Directorate for the Development of Information and Communication Technology and Communication Infrastructure.
“By 1 January 2025, all state-owned companies need to have completely replaced all [foreign – ed.] operating systems, office suites, virtualization systems, and database management systems. In this sense, the KPIs are quite tough. They will definitely spur additional demand,” Maksut Shadaev, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.
“We are preparing <…> a package of initiatives, which will include toughening administrative liability and introducing criminal liability. <...> We need to find a way of setting the proper degree of liability, and of ensuring that regulations are preventative in nature, while also being fair. <…> It is all about matching the consequences to the offence,” Alexander Khinshtein, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications.
“Only companies that can guarantee that their technology is secure will be able to have access to datasets. <…> We must not make it easier for foreign intelligence agencies to spy on our citizens and recruit them for illegal activities,” Milosh Wagner, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media.
For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System at roscongress.org/en.