Battling Security Attacks During COVID-19

Around 86% of information security professionals have reported that cyber attacks have increased during the current pandemic –  as reported in the survey, The Indelible Impact of COVID-19 on Cybersecurity. The survey found that lack of forward planning resulted in a 38% rise in cyberwarfare and IoT as an attack vector, and a 37% increase in cyber spying IP theft, and social media threats or chatbots. Around 81% of IT professionals believe that the pandemic will  change regular business procedures. For instance, employees will have to be trained on how to follow protocol strictly, especially in terms of identifying and reporting suspicious activity.

The Biggest Threats To Cyber Security

In addition to the threats mentioned above (supply chain attacks, cyberwarfare, IoT attacks etc), major threats include DDos attacks, unpatched software, Trojans, phishing or whaling attacks, and ransomware. Integrated  IT security is vital, and some of the industries that have most been affected by breaches include finance, healthcare, the public sector, retail, energy and education. As an increasingly large number of employees begin to work from home, many become more ‘relaxed’ about cybersecurity because of their surroundings. Many have succumbed to  phishing and whaling attacks or are currently working on equipment that is infected with malware or ransomware. Additional threats include using untrusted networks, communicating via personal messaging for business purposes, and randomly switching from company to personal devices.

New Strategies And Investment In Cybersecurity Are Required

Because cyber threats have increased significantly, around a third of all professionals in information security plan on counting on round-the-clock IT support. They are also planning on training employees on key security protocols. Many companies will also be working alongside business stakeholders to define new, more efficient cybersecurity measures, and they will also be increasing their spending on outsourced IT expertise. Even when COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past, these measures will deliver companies due rewards, since many experts are predicting that the remote working boom will only strengthen in the long-term. Many companies are reporting that big savings have been achieved by switching to a model in which most  employees can work from home, even on some days of the week.

Cyber Attack Simulations

One strategy that will undoubtedly play an important role in cyber security for remote workers is the use of security attack simulators. These are  platforms that simulate attacks to test employees’ abilities to identify and flag them quickly and efficiently. Just a few platforms already in use include Knowbe4, Threat Cop and PhishMe. Some test employees against various types of attacks. They also provide risk reports providing suggestions on how to lower the overall risk.
The current pandemic has proven to be a big threat to IT security in many industries, including healthcare. Some of the major sources of attacks are phishing, IP theft and cyber threats. Companies wishing to avoid the consequences of these attacks should invest in professional training and the very best software available to protect companies against those taking advantage of weak links in the chain during one of the world’s worst pandemics.
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