How has Cyber Security been impacted by COVID-19?

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The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses around the world. The new reality requires strategic planning to ensure cybersecurity and technology infrastructures are resilient enough to support business assets and services through this unprecedented time.

We have become heavily dependent on digital devices to work, shop and communicate – whilst adhering to social distancing rules. Unfortunately, this reliance has delivered new opportunities for cyber criminals; public and private organisations working to support the national efforts against Covid-19 are being targeted by malicious actors.

Proofpoint, a cybersecurity and compliance solutions provider, reported, ‘to date, the cumulative volume of coronavirus-related email lures now represents the greatest collection of attack types united by a single theme that our team has seen in years, if not ever. We’ve observed credential phishing, malicious attachments, malicious links, business email compromise (BEC), fake landing pages, downloaders, spam, and malware, among others, all leveraging coronavirus lures.’

The rise in remote working and cloud-based solutions being implemented, joint with the rapid increase in digital commerce activity and new websites launched, has ultimately resulted in significant digital transformation (in a short space of time) and considerably more data being sent online. These changes in behaviour have forced companies to increase IT budgets to ensure business continuity and to safeguard against attacks. According to data gathered by LearnBonds, 68% of major organisations, public and private, plan to increase their cybersecurity spending as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The technology transformations will continue through the pandemic and long after. Now we have become dependent on digital infrastructures and addicted to fast, reliable wifi in our new world of shopping, living, working and playing, we aren’t going to want to lose the convenience we have become accustomed to. In order to support these evolving innovations and be able to stay agile, security is crucial to support business operations and developments and ensure protection against the continuous string of new cyber attacks.

Covid-19 has presented opportunities to innovate, transform and improve all areas of business, however, hackers will continue to target our growing dependence on digital tools. It is positive to see that businesses aren’t allowing these threats to stop innovations and in response, there has been a steep increase in cyber security job vacancies. Strategies, investments and future priorities have changed; businesses worldwide are restructuring budgets to ensure they can increase security measures to protect against existing and new cyber threats, whilst continuing to transform and improve processes.