What Has COVID-19 Taught Us About Cybersecurity?
Author : Preethi Kumari | Published On : 27 Aug 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic took the entire world by surprise. Many governments and health providers ventured with little to no knowledge or awareness. However, they did show resilience and competency to manage multiple problems. This scenario is not too different from the one faced by cybersecurity experts.
People around the world went about their business with nonchalance. Many of them did not know or care to find out more about the virus. Many adults just showed their hands under the sink for the sake of washing it, until COVID showed the importance of it. Every 14 seconds, one company falls victim to the cyberthreat (source). Unfortunately, 64% of Americans do not care about data privacy or do not find out that they were the victims (source). They were negligent towards the whole pandemic issue and did not show enough concern.
These people go about their online business and social media activities without any worries. They do not scrutinize the nature of digital media or get perturbed by hackers, viruses, and malware. Their negligence, despite the widespread use of the internet and mobile devices, can prove very costly.
Simple practices can keep COVID controlled from spreading. However, the general public finds it too restrictive or does not believe the science behind it. A good antivirus and basic training on how to avoid scams and viruses are enough to keep your business and personal data safe. Yet, most of the individuals think that they are too busy for this training.
People and even governments responded slowly to expert advice. They took some time to accept WHO guidelines. Even today, many people refuse to wear a safety mask. This initial delay led to a widespread of the virus. A malware in one system can easily spread to the connected servers and systems before you decide on what to do. Thus, always have a plan in hand. The style of your response during the initial hours can help you deal with the cyberattack more efficiently.
Medical experts reintroduced people to key hygienic practices. Cleaning the surroundings and washing hands has re-entered people's awareness. The handwashing method was the same, but now people use soap and water. Covering up the sneezes is basic manners, and now it is a necessity. Likewise, an antivirus or software might be the same, but it needs updates and maintenance. It is important to keep the current version of the applications.
The virus could be anywhere
Have you ever thought twice about touching a doorknob in a public place? Well, COVID certainly improved our perception. Likewise, scam is not just about hacking your transaction details. People spend too much time looking for .exe files, and they forget that even downloading an image could be dangerous. Cybercriminals use different tactics to commit fraudulent online acts.
They rely on phishing to con gullible email users. These criminals send a large number of emails with enticing offers. But what is the catch? It will be in the form of an email attachment, download, or clickable links.
These links take the user to a fake website with unbelievable offers. Some offer high-salary jobs, while others promise cash prizes. Some attackers also extract sensitive information from the users like bank account details, professional and personal data.
The increase in points of contact
COVID pushed people to buy local. Food from far away continent moves from hand to hand and has a higher chance of contamination. A data transfer within an office space is comparatively safer than during a remote working situation. The data will bounce from one node to another, allowing the hackers too many opportunities to retrieve your data.
Collaboration and video calling tools from Zoom and Microsoft were once an often-forgotten app on the phone. Numerous individuals do not pay attention to the security features of these apps before using them. Today, employees, job seekers, and casual users rely heavily on such software. But these platforms and apps are not fully secure.
So, the users have to address these security concerns definitively. First, they have to configure the tools accurately. Then, they have to effectively utilize the built-in security features. Waiting rooms, pre-set passwords, and participant authentication can efficiently prevent the trolls.
There were 4.57 billion digitally active users by the end of July 2020 (source). Covid-19 increased daily digital usage and created remote working jobs. The average data usage rose by 47% during this quarantine (source). Many of them rely on multiple devices for their online activities. These frequent users buy products on their smartphones. They browse for information on their laptops, and they work from home. While talking about the scalability of the software, companies usually pay attention to the volume and features that scale up and down with the software package. Most of the companies overlooked the scalability of security features. Does the software's security features include remote devices, multiple user authentication, and more?