May 2020 Cybersecurity Threats During COVID-19
Cybersecurity Threats During COVID-19
If you think everyone is taking it easy during COVID-19, you are mistaken. The FBI is reporting that there is a significant spike in activity, both by domestic and international hackers, who look to exploit American businesses. The Crime Complaint Center (IC3) notes a 3x or 4x jump in the number of complaints per day. You can read more about this here.
Cyber criminals see this pandemic as a unique opportunity to take advantage of relaxed security posture and a changing workforce. First, organizations are struggling to keep the doors open and their focus has naturally shifted. Secondly, a shift to telework has opened many doors for hackers to exploit.
The FBI also notes that nation states have increased their activity to gain knowledge about COVID-19 testing and to potentially cause disruption with the US economy. Healthcare and financial institutions are prime targets for this activity. WHO (World Health Organization) has also reported an increased number of attacks targeted at the health organization.
I recently had a conversation with a CIO of a large manufacturing company who has a very relaxed security posture. When probed about his response to ransomware he said, “We aren’t concerned about ransomware or hackers. We don’t have any information they’re interested in.” This response is shortsighted and misinformed. Hackers might be interested in your information, but it is much more likely that they are interested in disrupting your business and crippling your productivity.
These are unprecedented times that we are living in. Many businesses will close their doors and we will continue to see layoffs that impact IT professionals. Given the current environment, security is not an area that we should cut costs.
You can read more COVID-19 content, report crimes, and watch for updates on the FBI’s website.