The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rapid acceleration of digital technology adoption across multiple industries around the world. Virtually overnight, businesses had to change the way they operated, shifting to remote working models and relying heavily on cloud computing and digital tools.
While digital transformation has enabled businesses to continue to operate, it has simultaneously led to a higher rate of cyber-attacks. Cybercrime, which includes everything from identity theft to data breaches, is up 600% as a result of the pandemic.
This is unsurprising when we consider the lack of preparation for this rapid adoption of technology and the vulnerabilities it exposed. The dangers of cybercrime are not new, but the increase in cyber events demonstrates cybercriminals are attempting to take advantage of the pandemic. Cybercriminals are also becoming more sophisticated and leveraging the same emerging technology that businesses are using.
The rise of cybercrime during the pandemic
During times of upheaval, threat actors will attempt to capitalize on the confusion and uncertainty that reigns. More business was being conducted online, from ecommerce to remote work, and everything in between. Organizations had to abruptly get used to office employees working from home. In this rush, vulnerabilities in security would have occurred and cyber criminals made the most of this.
Target companies ranged across industries, although the health care, finance, energy, and manufacturing sectors saw increased attacks.
The types of attacks vary depending on the industry but overall, common types of cyber-attacks included:
The rapid shift to remote work forced many businesses to make the shift to cloud computing, which caught the attention of cybercriminals. The number of attempted cloud breaches skyrocketed by 250% in 2020, showing once again cybercriminals will aim to leverage any security vulnerabilities possible.
Impact of cyber-attacks
Cybercrime affects organizations in many ways, from minor downtime and disruptions to operations, to major financial losses. Millions of dollars from businesses have been ransomed by cyber criminals, using the time-tested methods outlined above. The average cost of a data breach rose to $21,659 per incident, with most cyber incidents ranging between $800 and over $650,000, and 5% of those attacks cost more than $1 million.
Almost 85% of successful data breaches weren’t due to flas in computer codes, rather they involved defrauding humans. While specific techniques vary depending on the industry, data breaches were commonly a result of schemes that attempted to swipe logon credentials, such as phishing schemes.
Regardless of the type of cyber-attack, there is a cost consequence in some form, and this can last weeks if not months.
The main impact of cybercrime include:
Cybersecurity in the workplace
Digital transformation in the business world was estimated to have jumped forward more than five years in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, traditional information security tools have been unable to keep pace with this new way of working, being too rigid to apply to agile work practices, slowing down productivity and collaboration.
Keeping critical infrastructure safe is paramount, to ensure vulnerable data is protected, a challenge with employees working on multiple devices, in multiple locations. Cybersecurity solutions need to be scalable and agile, considering both remote workplaces and the return to on-site employees as the pandemic ends, and should include:
Other considerations for organizations is to prepare for employees who will work remotely on a continuing basis to ensure they are aware of the importance of security practices to keep business data secure.
The challenge with today’s security landscape is cyberthreats are rapidly evolving and happening more frequently. The increased use of technology during the pandemic will not dissipate as the world returns to a post-Covid state.
Digital transformation is here to stay and it is vital to ensure your digital assets are secure. It requires expertise and knowledge to develop robust security strategies and implement solutions to toughen your IT environment. Speak to the security specialists at Solzorro and get world-class cybersecurity solutions and support, for your peace of mind.