Cybersecurity is more crucial than ever before, thanks to COVID-19. With increasing cyberattacks and a massive shift to remote work, cybersecurity professionals have to make some adjustments. Now is the time to close any gaps in your company's data security.
The coronavirus outbreak has presented hackers with the perfect opportunity to access other people's data. People are distracted and confused in the face of the pandemic, leaving them susceptible to attack. On top of that, cybersecurity professionals have to adapt to employees working from home networks.
The rising threat of cyberattacks isn't mere speculation. These attacks aren't just targeting casual users who don't know any better, either. In the past few months, several noteworthy companies and establishments have fell victim to coronavirus cyberattacks.
In March, hackers tried to overload servers belonging to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Cybercriminals sent millions of requests to the servers over several hours in an attempt to slow the system. If the HHS hadn't recently taken extra cybersecurity measures, the attack could've hindered the government's coronavirus response.
The Maze ransomware group recently attacked a medical research center after publicly promising not to. Hammersmith Medicines Research was on standby to test possible coronavirus vaccines when Maze took their data hostage. Maze now holds information like insurance numbers of thousands of patients.
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) isn't safe. Since March 2, hackers have sent a string of phishing emails to WHO staff, trying to access their accounts. Cyberattacks against the WHO and related agencies have doubled since the start of the outbreak.
Protecting Against Rising Threats
No company is too big or too small to be the victim of a cyberattack. As these attacks keep increasing, you need to be sure there are no holes in your cybersecurity solution. On top of the hacking risks, failing to meet cybersecurity standards can lead to legal consequences for some companies.
There are a few steps you can follow to make sure your cybersecurity is where it should be. To best solve changing security issues, you need to understand what's at risk and why. The most prominent challenge facing cybersecurity right now is the newly-distributed workforce.
Your security tools may rely on everyone using a local network. Since so many employees now work remotely, you need to adopt a mobile approach. Cloud-native solutions and remote monitoring services may be necessary for protecting employees working from home.
Employees' personal devices likely don't have the same security software as your office computers. Make sure you require multi-factor authentication for all employees to access company data or services. Additionally, you may have to provide employees with advanced antivirus software, so they don't rely on built-in solutions.
For working with sensitive information, employees should only use company devices. You should monitor unused company equipment to make sure no one's using their own devices instead. If employees need to access sensitive data, they should have to take their computers from the office home.
Awareness is the first step
As cyber threats continue to grow and change, you need to change with them. Any cybersecurity that stays stagnant in the face of shifting circumstances is doomed to fail. The first step in addressing developing threats is staying on top of how they're changing.
You can't expect to be able to handle new threats if you don't know about them. Staying aware of what new challenges are facing your cybersecurity solution is essential to staying safe. COVID-19 has spurred a wave of cybercrime, but if you adapt to the situation, you can resist it.