The world is trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, hackers do not appear to be on lockdown. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the emergency by sending out phishing attacks that lure internet users into clicking on malicious links or files. This allows hackers to steal sensitive data or take control of a user’s device and use it to direct additional attacks.
At a time like this, the last thing you want is to become a victim of a cyberattack, and perhaps even lose your computer. A cybersecurity professional helps you live a worry-free life, but wouldn’t it be great if you could do the task by yourself? Find the best information security certifications or a Cyber Security Certification online.
Table of Contents
- A Far-More-Connected World
- Covid-19 Era Cyber Threats
- A Robust Cybersecurity Response
- Final Word
In this article, we discuss some cyber threats in the ongoing world pandemic and how to deal with them in the future.
A Far-More-Connected World
The world became more digitally connected — and vulnerable — than ever in just a single month. In March, organizations that had required employees to gather forever at a common physical location were suddenly using the Internet to facilitate remote interaction between a vast constellation of home offices. Businesses rely on digital services to maintain essentials in the supply chain while minimizing social contact.
Officials are reliant on digital channels for reassuring the public and maintaining order. They communicate rapidly evolving rules, share critical information on physiological and psychological health, and debunk the onslaught of rumors, fraud, and misinformation about bogus remedies.
As Covid-19 tests the strength of healthcare systems worldwide, healthcare providers turn to portals for remote counseling and diagnosis to chat, phones, email, and telemedicine. Organizations use digital infrastructure to provide vital healthcare and hygiene workers with protective supplies and advise them on the safe rendering of services.
Covid-19 Era Cyber Threats
Cyber threats are continually evolving to harness online behavior and trends. The Outbreak of COVID-19 is no exception. Here are some cyber threats:
On the Internet, there are a significant number of registered domains containing the terms “coronavirus,” “corona-virus,” “covid19”, and “covid-19.” While some are legitimate websites, cybercriminals create thousands of new sites every day for spam campaigns, phishing, or malware.
Cybercriminals are exploiting the widespread global coronavirus communications to conceal their activities. Spyware, malware, and trojans were found embedded in the maps and websites of interactive coronaviruses. Also, spam emails trick users to click links that download malware to their computers or mobile devices.
Medical centers, hospitals, and public institutions are being targeted with ransomware attacks by cybercriminals – because they are overwhelmed by the health crisis and can’t afford to be locked out of their systems, criminals believe they’re likely to pay the ransom.
The ransomware can enter their systems by emailing infected links or attachments, compromising employee credentials, or exploiting a system vulnerability.
A Robust Cybersecurity Response
Since employees work from home, businesses need to ensure that their data is secured even in the employees’ home networks. They need to have a cybersecurity policy that includes regular review of remote networking. Below are some of the ways corporations can help ensure remote cybersecurity.
Cyber Security Policies
Companies may have robust cybersecurity policies, but they need to be adequate to employ multiple workers remotely. The use of personal devices and the use of Shadow IT and Cloud Technology must include security policies.
Management of BYOD
A proper security plan for BYOD needs to be in place with the growing trend of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) at start-up organizations. Employees working from home also use their devices to perform business activities as the supply chain of electronic goods will be down due to the Coronavirus pandemic during the entire lockdown period. Personal laptops and devices will need the same levels and standards of security as any company-owned device, adjusting the privacy needs of employee-owned devices connected to the business networks.
Backup all your essential files, and store them independently from your system. Always verify that you are on a company’s legitimate website before entering your login details or sensitive information.
Software and Systems Check
Make sure you have the latest anti-virus software installed on your computer and mobile devices, as well as secure email gateways to thwart threats via spam. Secure system administration vulnerabilities that attackers could abuse and disable third-party or outdated components can be used as entry points. Only download mobile applications or any other software from trusted platforms, and don’t forget to perform regular health scans on your computers or mobile devices.
Talk to your family about how to stay safe online. Regularly check and update your social media accounts’ privacy settings- update your passwords and ensure they are healthy. Do not click on links or open attachments in emails you were not expecting to receive or come from an unknown sender.
Unsafe Wi-Fi networks could allow cybercriminals to access sensitive business data. In this scenario, the best practice protocols need to introduce more stringent cyberspace hygiene, failure of which can result in businesses losing critical and sensitive data without any recuperation options. The covid-19 crisis is likely to remain for a more extended period than expected. Organizations will be forced to make tough calls, such as enabling remote workforce all the time with all the necessary security. Although cybercriminals may be sharper and faster, cybersecurity experts and cyber researchers will not be much further behind.
The pandemic has set off into a new cybersecurity era. The cyber industry is struggling, however, and can very well adjust in time. In the economic turnaround, cybersecurity professionals who raise their game and protect the people, technology, and data of their companies from new or increased risks of more sophisticated cybercriminals will be crucial actors. Individuals and businesses need to come together to make all the necessary steps to guard against the spread of malware and cyber viruses and to support cyber intelligence as a community together.