The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated problems for enterprises as they adjust to a working method in which working from home is now the “new normal.” Businesses are speeding up their digital transformation, and cybersecurity risk management has become a major concern. If cybersecurity risks are overlooked, the reputational, operational, legal, and compliance consequences might be significant for businesses.
This blog examines 5 reasons why businesses need to take cyber risk management and mitigation measures seriously in a post-covid 19 world.
1: A Rise in COVID 19 Related Phishing and Ransomware Attacks
A report published by the Cyber Intelligence Centre found that there was an increase in phishing assaults, malspams, and ransomware attacks as a result of the pandemic. According to the study, hackers utilize COVID-19 as bait to impersonate brands and trick workers and consumers. This led to an increase in more contaminated personal computers and phones worldwide.
Organizations are not the only ones affected; end users who download COVID-19-related apps are frequently duped into downloading ransomware disguised as genuine applications.
Organizations should take precautions by advising their workers and customers to be more watchful and cautious, particularly when surfing COVID-19-related links, emails, or papers. When it comes to the effectiveness of your identification and warning systems while monitoring the influence of having many remote employees, organizations should make sure they’re working properly.
2: Increased Security Risk from Remote Working/Learning
Increased security risk is also being observed in the case of remote working and learning. With employees working from home or on their mobile devices, companies are finding it difficult to regulate access to sensitive information. There have been cases where employees let third parties log on with their credentials for making online transactions, which can lead to cybersecurity risks like data theft, etc.
The need for VPN servers is quickly growing, since businesses/schools with numerous employees working from home and students virtually learning have found them to be a lifeline. There’s a danger that an organization’s unpreparedness may result in security misconfiguration in VPNs, allowing sensitive data to be seen on the internet, exposing computers to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Certain individuals may use personal computers to do official work that is extremely risky for businesses. Organizations must ensure that VPN services are safe and effective, as they will be more thoroughly investigated. It’s also critical to educate employees about the risks of using personal computers for official purposes.
3: Potential Delays in Cyber-Attack Detection and Response
The ability to detect cybersecurity risks like data breaches or ransomware attacks has also become challenging with employees working from different geographic locations. It takes ample time before the early signs of a cyberattack are detected by security teams, which can lead to further damages once they start putting security measures into place.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous security teams’ operations are likely to be disrupted, making it more difficult to detect and even respond to threats. It can also be challenging to deploy updates on devices if the security teams aren’t operational. Organizations should assess their security framework and investigate the use of co-sourcing with external experts, particularly for those areas where critical human risks have been identified.
4: Exposed Physical Security
Corporate espionage is a major risk when employees work from different geographies, including countries with less stringent cybersecurity controls and regulations. Employees working from these locations may not be subject to company policies or data protection laws of the client’s country, thereby leading to risks like data loss, cyber espionage, etc.
This might be explained by the case of certain businesses in Nigeria, which have implemented “work from home” policies. In some places, a dependable electricity supply and quick internet connection may be a luxury. As a result, workers working for such firms must utilize public spaces to charge their phones and access the internet.
The careless disposal of a computer device and confidential data can unintentionally expose the equipment and information to theft or danger. As a result, businesses are urged to raise awareness among their staff about information security. Working in public areas should be avoided, and sensitive data should be protected after being stolen or harmed if possible, using technologies that keep sensitive information safe on such devices.
5: Influx of Cybercriminals
With the COVID 19 pandemic worsening and spreading to more geographies, the inflow of cybercriminals will also increase in a post-covid 19 world. This is due to the fact that cybersecurity becomes an even bigger problem when health care and other organizations are forced to work on an ‘as is where is basis without the infrastructure and resources needed for protecting digital assets.
Other than that, globally, organizations are reducing their staff to deal with the consequences of COVID-19. The majority of the professionals have also lost their means of livelihood owing to numerous restrictions on travel imposed by governments around the world. This change will almost certainly encourage cybercriminals since idle people with internet access who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID may become misguided to seek livelihood through criminal activities.
Management should put in place effective exit strategies. We also encourage all who have lost their jobs or are presently restricted to a location to consider taking this period to learn a new profitable skill and take online courses.
The COVID 19 pandemic has only increased the need for businesses to take cybersecurity risks extremely seriously, including governance, cyber risk management, compliance, and mitigation measures.
Risk mitigation strategies must be developed through a combination of people, processes, and technology to ensure that cybersecurity risk management is done in the best possible way.
Organizations should also invest in tools, technologies, and cybersecurity consulting services that can help them identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks in a timely manner. This will not only prevent potential damages but also reduce the time to recovery after an attack.