Coronavirus effect on Cybersecurity Market
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has affected the worldwide economy, our day-to-day life, and human health around the globe, changing how we individuals work and communicate in ordinary. However, nevertheless the pressing risk, the virus poses to human health, these fast changes have additionally made an environment in which hackers, scammers, and spammers all thrive. The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy will be profound though the depth and length of the resulting collapse remain uncertain. COVID-19 shows that the world is at great risk of disruption by pandemics, cyberattacks, or environmental tipping points.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations and individuals to embrace new practices such as social distancing and remote working. Governments are reconsidering ways to ensure that their countries are stable by developing and enforcing new economic plans. Nevertheless, while the world is focused on the health and economic threats posed by COVID-19, cybercriminals around the world undoubtedly are capitalizing on this crisis. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the risk of malicious cyber-attacks as organizations large and small increase their reliance on remote working and online services.
Countries should prepare for a COVID-like global cyber pandemic that will spread faster and further than a biological virus, with an equal or greater economic impact. Coronavirus phishing tricks began coursing in January, going after dread and disarray about the virus, they’ve just multiplied since. The COVID-19 pandemic poses the risk of increased cyberattacks. There is an insidious side-effect to coronavirus. Hackers of all stripes are finding the conditions perfect to worm their way into individual and corporate accounts. Remote workers getting to their organization systems from individual devices at home make it simpler for programmers to break cybersecurity. IT teams are likewise constrained to empower remote work, bringing down security conventions.
A large number of coronavirus-themed sites are springing up day by day, a considerable lot of which are malicious. The greater concern is that breaches may not get obvious for quite a long time or years. Hackers can utilize the coronavirus circumstance to tunnel in and lie dormant with their malware. At that point, they can continue redirecting information or money until the breach is detected. Attackers design websites identified with coronavirus so as to incite you to download an application to keep you updated on the circumstance. This application needn’t bother with any installation and shows you a guide of how COVID-19 is spreading. In any case, it is a front for attackers to produce a malicious binary file and install it on your computer.
A spike in phishing attacks, Malspams and ransomware attacks as attackers are using COVID-19 as bait to impersonate brands thereby misleading employees and customers. This will likely result in more infected personal computers and phones. Not only are businesses being targeted, end-users who download COVID-19 related applications are also being tricked into downloading ransomware disguised as legitimate applications. Just, all things considered, these sites act like authentic maps for tracking coronavirus, yet have an alternate URL or various subtleties from the original source. Hackers are targeting people’s increased dependence on digital tools.
With the coronavirus crisis creating new opportunities for cybercriminals, 70 percent of organizations are seeing the value of increasing their investments in cybersecurity solutions. According to a www.LearnBonds.com report, besides boosting their cybersecurity spending, as the top IT priority this year, around 55 percent of major organizations will boost their investments in automation solutions, revealed HFS Research survey conducted in April. Smart analytics, hybrid or multi-cloud, and artificial intelligence follow, with 53 percent, 49 percent and 46 percent of those bodies asked naming them as their leading IT investments this year.
The statistics show spending on augmented and virtual reality technology, blockchain and edge computing is under pressure this year, with just 32 percent, 30 percent, and 27 percent of enterprises planning to increase their spending on these technologies in 2020. Though recent years have witnessed a surge in the use of artificial intelligence, helping businesses to improve their efficiency, quality, and speed, statistics show artificial intelligence solutions are set to witness a massive drop in spending this year, with 23 percent of major enterprises planning to cut their investments on these technologies. Blockchain follows with an 18 percent share among those asked downsizing their IT budgets.
The coronavirus crisis provides insights into how leaders can better prepare for such cyber risks.
- A cyberattack with characteristics similar to the coronavirus would spread faster and further than any biological virus.
- The economic impact of a widespread digital shutdown would be of the same magnitude or greater than what we’re currently seeing.
- Recovery from the widespread destruction of digital systems would be extremely challenging.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt global health, economic, political, and social systems, there’s another unseen threat rising in the digital space: the risk of cyberattacks that prey on our increased reliance on digital tools and the uncertainty of the crisis. Here are some reasons robust cybersecurity measures matter more than ever.
1. A heightened dependency on digital infrastructure raises the cost of failure:
In a pandemic of this scale with cases of coronavirus reported in more than 150 countries dependency on digital communications multiplies. The Internet has almost instantly become the channel for effective human interaction and the primary way we work, contact, and support one another. Businesses and public-sector organizations are increasingly offering or enforcing “work from home” policies, and social interactions are rapidly becoming confined to video calls, social media posts and chat programs.
Many governments are disseminating information via digital means. For example, the UK has made digital the default mode of communication, instructing citizens to rely on official websites for updates to avoid flooding phone-based information services with requests. In today’s unprecedented context, a cyberattack that deprives organizations or families of access to their devices, data or the internet could be devastating and even deadly: In a worst-case scenario, broad-based cyberattacks could cause widespread infrastructure failures that take entire communities or cities offline, obstructing healthcare providers, public systems and networks.
2. Cybercrime exploits fear and uncertainty.
Cybercriminals exploit the human weakness to penetrate systemic defenses. In a crisis situation, particularly if prolonged, people tend to make mistakes they would not have made otherwise. Online, making a mistake in terms of which link you click on or who you trust with your data can cost you dearly. The vast majority of cyberattacks by some estimates, 98% deploy social engineering methods.
Cybercriminals are extremely creative in devising new ways to exploit users and technology to access passwords, networks, and data, often capitalizing on popular topics and trends to tempt users into unsafe online behavior. However, there will be consequences on cybersecurity budgets and reduced expenditure in 2020 even though cybersecurity has evolved significantly since the last recession in 2009.
Today, regulation mandates tighter controls on data and privacy, approaches to risk have evolved in digital enterprises, and business models are transitioning to cloud-based or managed services. As a result, security has become an increasingly strategic issue and enterprises are less able to dispense with it when cost-cutting. Nevertheless, enterprises will struggle with cash flow and budget freezes in 2020, and project postponements are likely to be widespread, delaying investment in new cybersecurity projects.
3. More time online could lead to riskier behaviour:
Inadvertently risky Internet behavior increases with more time spent online. For example, users could fall for “free” access to obscure websites or pirated shows, opening the door to likely malware and attacks.
Similarly, there could be hidden risks in requests for credit card information or the installation of specialized viewing applications. Always, and especially during the pandemic, clicking on the wrong link or expanding surfing habits can be extremely dangerous and costly.
What can we do as individuals, organization, businesses and as countries to stop the increase of Cybersecurity during this global COVID-19 Pandemic?
Just as addressing the COVID-19 pandemic requires changing our social habits and routines to impede infection rates, a change in our online behavior can help maintain high levels of cybersecurity. Here are some practical actions we can take to stay safe online:
1. We need to step up our cyber hygiene standards:
In addition to everyone washing their hands in different parts of the world after every physical contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and using an appropriate alcohol-based cleaning solution on our phone, keyboard, game controllers and remote controls, we need to also take the time to review our digital hygiene habits.
We need to check that we have a long, complex router password for our home wifi and that system firewalls are active on our router. We need to ensure that we’re not reusing passwords across the web (a password manager is a great investment), and use a reliable VPN for internet access wherever possible.
2. We must be extra vigilant on verification:
We need to be far more careful than usual when installing software and giving out any personal information. We should not click on links from the email. When signing up for new services, we need to verify the source of every URL and ensure the programs or apps we install are the original versions from a trusted source. Digital viruses spread much like physical ones; your potential mistakes online could very well contaminate others in your organization, an address book, or the wider community.
3. Follow official updates:
Just as we pay attention to trusted sources of data on the spread and impact of COVID-19, we need to regularly update our system software and applications to patch any weaknesses that may be exploited. If at any stage we feel that the advice we’re being given sounds bizarre, whether the virus threat is offline or digital we need to search the Internet to see whether others have similar concerns and look for a well-known site that can help verify the legitimacy of the information.
Covid-19 tricks aren’t simply being utilized by criminals for monetary gain. They’re additionally appearing in progressively slippery tasks. Mobile security firm Lookout published findings recently that a malicious Android application has been acting like a Covid-19 following guide from Johns Hopkins University, however, it really contains spyware associated with a surveillance operation against mobile users in Libya. And afterward, there are the country state hackers, who realize without a doubt that home networks basically aren’t as secure as those in workplaces.
Remote connections specifically make it increasingly troublesome, if certainly feasible, for most threat detection tools to differentiate legitimate work from something suspicious. Phishing is a type of social engineering and the coronavirus circumstance has opened up new roads for manipulating overwrought people into divulging confidential information. It can wind up with your digital life being undermined.
Strategies to maintain cybersecurity include maintaining good cyber hygiene, verifying sources, and staying up-to-date on official updates. If we want to live in a Cyber free attack our personal behavior will be instrumental in preventing the spread of dangerous infections both online and in the physical world.
By Victor Tagborloh
CEO, Galaxy ITGroup – Ghana
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK