Since 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has created a bunch of challenges for everyone, including businesses. The businesses now have adapted an operating model where ‘working from home is the new normal. Companies are improving their digital transformation, and in all these activities, cybersecurity becomes a significant concern.
If these cybersecurity risks are ignored, then operational, legal, reputational, and compliance implications could be substantial.
The pandemic has created enough of a headache for all individuals, including business owners, and with these changing work patterns, cybercrime goes out of hand. With such heavy dependence on digital platforms, all businesses need to be cautious and take appropriate action to guard their business and customers.
Let us have a look at how COVID-19 has impacted digital security;
Remote Work Creating Vulnerabilities
Working remotely has become the new normal since 2020, and businesses have to train their workforce accordingly to make sure they adapt to remote procedures. This is one challenging task, but teams are now using their VPN software, devices, and IT security teams due to the heavy reliance on digital platforms.
This has created vulnerabilities which is the primary thing that cybercriminals today are looking to take advantage of. The shift to remote contact between customers, employees, suppliers, and others has increased the chances of cyberattacks surface and has given more opportunities to criminals.
Another thing that we have to be careful about is advanced attacks. Cybercrime usually adapts to changes much quicker than we do, and this can be seen even today amidst the pandemic. Hackers are exploiting the differences in the world religiously, and the fear they have created through their malicious attacks online or phishing scams like emails claiming to be from WHO has encouraged people to provide sensitive data.
These kinds of attacks are executed so professionally that there are impossible to spot at times; therefore, it is not surprising if the businesses and people are falling into this trap of cybercrime during this pandemic.
Moreover, hackers also use credentials hacking techniques to gain employees access and steal their data. This stolen data is then sold to 3rd party apps or other cybersecurity criminals. One of the costs in such cases is the disruption to businesses that heavily depend on video conferencing platforms.
Credential hacking or credential stuffing is a cyberattack where hackers utilize previously stolen combinations of passwords and usernames to access other accounts. This is easy, too, as it is prevalent for people to use the same password or username for their multiple accounts.
How to Protect the Business from such activities
Now the question is what action should we take to protect the businesses from cybercrime during the pandemic. The staff must have cybersecurity protection active in antivirus software, VPNs, and firewalls for all their devices used for work. Moreover, businesses should make cybersecurity training mandatory during such time so that employees know how to protect the company data and how to avoid cybersecurity scams.
Moreover, businesses should also opt for cyber insurance, which can be essential in protecting against data breaches. This can cover your liabilities on the media platform, viruses, data security, and hacking as soon as an event takes place. It can also cover the costs of successful attacks and even come up with ways to ease the damage.
The increase in the amount of cybercrime has led to chaos this year, but we cannot avoid it. Cyber attacks are improving with each passing day while businesses are becoming vulnerable because of the shift in remote work, so the business owners should know which step they should take to prevent them from happening.
Lastly, two important things that businesses can do are;
- Adopt new technology and tools: companies should adopt advanced tools like host checking- which is a tool to scrutinize the entire security posture and reinforce measures where needed.
- Be prepared for attacks: in this time of high risk, companies should carry out regular cyber crisis simulation exercises to prepare beforehand and reduce the consequences of a cyberattack.