SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As Ukrainians exceed expectations in defending their country on the ground, the UMass Isenberg Chair told 22News a similar story is playing out online when it comes to cyber-attacks.

“They’re not as massive as we were thinking they would be early on and that also speaks to the strength and expertise of Ukraine’s knowledge of cyber defenses,” said Professor Anna Nagurney at UMass Amherst.

Nagurney said part of the effort in stopping these attacks from happening in the international cyber security rallying behind Ukraine. Gary Lefort is a retired Associate Professor at AIC teaching international business.

He said Russia has a strong cyberwar attack capability, but so does the US. Cyberwarfare, he said, is often used as a tool because it can disrupt communications, but it also doesn’t physically destroy things. He said while US soldiers have not touched down in Ukraine to avoid further escalation with Russia, the US still is at risk for Russian cyber attacks.

“President Putin has made it quite clear that anyone who was involved in supporting Ukraine against the Russian invasion is subject to some type of retaliation,” said Lefort.

At risk in a cyber attack: Electric power networks, hospitals, and internet connectivity. However, Professor Nagurney said there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

“Think what you click on, think what you’re doing,” she told 22News. “Back up your laptops, back up your work, and every organization in the US should be cognizant of that and do it regularly.”

Lefort said over the years we have seen cyberattacks here in the US, however, it’s been challenging to pin them to Russia.