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The Impact of Covid-19 on Cyber Security

  • by: Iulia Mihalache
  • On: 21, Jul 2021
4 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic causes a huge economic and social disruption which is devastating. The rapid disruption to businesses around the world has left organizations and companies struggling to sustain business and security continuity.

VHR takes a deeper look into how the pandemic has affected the Cyber Security sector and the changes that have had to be made in order to adapt to “new times”.

 

Cyber Safe Home Working

The boundaries imposed by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have made employees manage their work from home. As a result, technology has become even more important in both our professional and personal lives. However, this eruption has caused an increase in both the probability and impact of cyberattacks.

Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, the internet plays a huge role in making things simpler for people, allowing them to stay connected during periods of extended isolation and allowing people to manage their business online. Because of this, the nature of the threat changes to a great extent. Despite this increase in technology need, it is noticeable that a lot of organisation’s still do not present a cyber-safe remote-working environment to their employees.

Hackers, nowadays, come up with new techniques to exploit new digital services and remote working setups. A rising number of online bad actors have initiated malware attacks on workers, healthcare facilities, and the unemployed. According to OpSec Security, some of the biggest targets of phishing were webmail sites and SaaS, accounting for around 34% of all attacks, trailed by 19% of financial institutions and 13% of the payment sector. However, this results in creating a lot of new opportunities for cyber threat actors.

 

Helpful Techniques to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks

In this section, you will get to know about some of the helpful ways to alleviate cybersecurity risks.

1. Take All Safety Measures

As mentioned above, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses and organizations to handle their tasks online. This causes a significant impact on both IT infrastructure necessities and cyber attacks. There are some steps that organisations must consider ensuring safety measures while managing work online. These include:

  • Make sure that all the staff members have a complete understanding of managing online tasks and their systems are completely patched and configured.
  • They are capable enough to learn and adapt new technologies and safety solutions.
  • Reviewing strategic actions and implementing key security controls which may have been disregarded.
  • Making sure that the remote access systems are sufficiently pliant to hold out DDOS attacks.

It is important to educate both the staff members and customers about online security to prevent cyber-attacks. The companies should summarize some of the important practical steps they take to protect the information of their clients. This will help a brand in building a positive and trustful image in front of their customers.

 

2. Keep Proper Account of Critical Security

To manage everything perfectly, it is important to stay one step ahead so that in case of any problem the necessary operation can be performed. The same is the case with cybersecurity. The companies must plan everything so that they can maintain resilient safety functions with the increase in the COVID-19 outbreak.

There might be a chance that COVID cases keep on increasing and a large number of employees are likely to be absent from cybersecurity teams. For such a situation, it is important to identify and monitor all kinds of critical security activities. Consider deploying asset management tooling to ensure persistent visibility as systems are stirred away from the internal setup.

To keep your business safe from cyber-attacks it is important to remain observant of opportunistic threats. This can be done by providing specific guidance to your employees about how to smudge suspicious activity. In case you do not have a strong understanding of these technical terms and handling.

 

Safety – the topmost priority

With the increase in cybersecurity attacks, several high-profile technology companies, such as Microsoft, are taking all proper measures to manage things properly. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) took down a business email negotiation operation in the year 2020. In this operation, it is observed that hackers used COVID-19-related phishing emails to permeate customer email accounts, sensitive documents, and contact information to send emails. Having proper tools in place to put off phishing attacks will mitigate the cyber risks.

Similarly, according to Swissinfo.ch reported figures from the NCSC it was observed that around 350 cases of cyberattacks were reported till June 2020. It includes phishing, direct attacks on different companies, fraudulent websites, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic and raise in working from home were seen as the main reason for this increase, as individuals working at home do not get the same level of deterrent measures and inherent protection from a working environment.

With the increase in cyber attacks around the COVID-19 virus and the chances offered by the fast shift into the online world, cybercrime has become a major threat to brands and consumers. The hackers are using different ways to exploit consumers and brands such as endorsing forged personal protective equipment, phishing scams, pirated video media, and much more.

To deal with all such problems, it is important to seek help from a cybersecurity expert. The experts can help people in identifying the actual problem and provides a solution to stop a fraudulent activity at the earliest. This approach will not only help in getting rid of this problem but also helps you to maintain the reputation of your company or business. So it can be concluded that Covid 19 affects the world in several ways but it also provides jobs to cyber experts.

 

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced new challenges for businesses to function properly as they get used to an operating mock-up in which managing work from home has turn into the ‘new normal’. As a large number of companies are operating online, cybersecurity has become a major concern. The operational, legal, compliance, and reputational implications could be substantial if cybersecurity risks are abandoned. This article scrutinizes the impact of COVID-19 on cyber risk and improvement measures that businesses can acquire.

 

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