Promoting Online Security After COVID-19 (infographic)

The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been nothing short of catastrophic. Industries from all backgrounds were brought to a standstill, racked by lockdowns, small business closures, and public venue shutdowns. Although some areas of the world are experiencing lighter lockdown periods and more open economies, the signs of damage still remain. This damage will linger in the least likely of spaces - online.

Indeed, one of the most impacted industries during COVID-19 can be found in the digital world rather than in physical space. Large scale growth and increased reliance on digital contact points puts a heavy weight upon online spaces. This provides ample opportunity for cyberattacks, scams, and online fraud.

The statistics related to online use and cyberattacks during 2020 are staggering:
  • Between February and March 0f 2020, online hacking and phishing scams increased by 37%.
  • Work from home orders have forced many outside the office to explore new digital venues. This demographic is one of the largest targets for malicious online activity.
  • Customer-facing networks and online cloud services have all been exploited by cyberattacks within the past few months.
  • Roughly 192,000 new cyberattacks related to the coronavirus were reported each week between March and April 2020.
Now more than ever, the world is experiencing a severe susceptibility to online attacks, hacks, and phishing scams. According to Gil Shwed, founder and CEO of Check Point, these attacks will only continue to get worse: “This rapid change means hackers will find a way….The hackers can find a way to hack a personal computer of an employee and through them get into our Crown Jewels.”

In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic is not so different from a digital or online cyberpandemic. Defined as “a self-propagating, digital attack that exploits tech loopholes before patches and antivirus software become available,” this public safety concern would target vital information and sensitive documents rather than human health. Virtual viruses would infiltrate devices through an operating system or application, spreading unnoticed while gathering information.

Like a physical virus, an increase in online cyberattacks or even a cyberpandemic may cripple the world in unique ways.

The first wave of the attack would target devices specifically. The effects of the virus would quickly result in poor performance issues (50%), dormant virus spread (30%), the loss of valuable data (15%), or even the complete bricking of the device itself (5%). Thousands of people may experience life-altering changes due to the dangerous effects of cyberpandemics.

Cyberpandemics would have a much larger effect on the global economy, costing millions of dollars per day.
  • The global loss of the internet would cost governments, suppliers, and organizations at least $50 billion per day.
  • Data centers organizations could lose up to $12 million per day.
  • Retail stores may be at a loss for $5 million each day.
  • Manufacturing plants and distribution hubs may face a $60 million daily loss.
Supporting the continued safety and development of cybersecurity programs during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for protecting employees, customers, and more. Here are some ways to continue improving vital technology.

1. Enhance your cloud email security.

2. Be aware of the varying security issues posed by the IoT (internet of things).

3. Align your internal technology with your operational technology.

4. Enhance your cybersecurity programs for WFH employees.

The world may never look the same after the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Neither should online cybersecurity. Stay ahead of the curve and protect what matters most by updating platforms and technology, investing in innovative ideas, and staying up to date with the latest cybersecurity protocols recommended by industry professionals.
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