COVID – 19: Cybersecurity and Threats

The COVD-19 pandemic has forced all working sectors to come to the digital space. The use of the internet and remote working applications have opened newer gateways for cyber threats and security issues to sink in. Given that the cyber space is going to be at the centre for all working mechanisms, it is vital to be equipped to deal with the security shortcomings.

Irrespective of the form in which cybersecurity is breached, the same cyber threats are run through different threat actors. In any case, these threats can be prevented to a great extent with a basic understanding of how they function. Whether you are a business owner or looking to protect your personal system the awareness you build amongst your employees and yourself is what will protect you against cyber threats in the first place.

Listed below are the steps one must take to stay up to date around the topic of cybersecurity and threats during the Covid-19 pandemic:

1. Awareness – A defence mechanism

The more you read up and know about these threat episodes you can be better prepared to deal with them. The same applies towards sensitizing the employees of your institution. In the month of May itself, over four hundred million threats have been recorded through various incidents. All these cases might not have been focused at accessing personally identifiable information, but these definitely reveal how exposed our systems can be without us even knowing.

Especially in the scenario of COVID-19 where many people unsavvy with electronics and the use of the internet the risk of potential threats is significant. Many aged professionals have been forced to rely on technology that they are not familiar with. Falling prey to cyber attacks and hackers is more likely for these new users who are not aware of the kind of threats they might face.

Many contact tracing applications as well as phishing links have been circulated masked as COVID-19 related applications. There are several apps marketed as COVID- trackers and other relevant applications that people are tempted to download in their current curiosity.

2. What not to do!

The most important thing to educate employees and professionals is on what not to do. No unauthorized source can breach your security if you make sure you don’t allow them to. The first recommendation is to reassure the source of it before installing any application. A general protocol should be followed to not rely on generally forwarded links to install any app or software.

Several remote workers are being targeted by impersonation attacks. This is when the threat actors hide behind the name of reliable brands to appear to be trustworthy. For instance, recently, over half a million Google impersonation attacks have been conducted to phish login credentials. Most of these attacks are carried out using Google applications and file sharing websites itself. At such spaces where any credentials are disclosed by the user caution should be asserted, even when the brand ‘appears’ to be trustworthy.

3. Planning for COVID-19 Cybersecurity

The best bet we have in such an environment is effectively planning for cybersecurity in COVID-19. There are several measures that can be taken to prepare yourself and your organization against the rampant threats to cybersecurity during the pandemic.

Other than exerting caution before any installations and updates are made to the system, following an approach of layered security can go a long way. This is to make sure that your systems are not reliant on a single security protocol; so, if one layer is breached you can still detect an infiltration.

Especially for those companies that are employing remote working devices, a centrally managed server is crucial. The employees are advised to implement their own personal security protocols while there are standard security protections at the management level.

Conclusion

Therefore, an informed and cautious individual can help to prevent any such attempts of security breach in the first place. Try to keep an eye open for any breaches in your devices and do not click into their plots. Take out some time to read up on the different cyber attacks that are popular in your work domain or in general at this period. The more you know the more you can cope with. Stay informed and work safe!