How Coronavirus Has Effected Cyber Security

We’re in March 2019:COVID-19 … This term could have easily passed as the latest malware virus or some infamous black-hat hacker group.

Some of the global headlines this month read: “Ethiopian Airline Flight Crashes”, “Brexit Faces Setbacks”, “School Shooting in Brazil”; and “Christchurch Mosque Shooting”.

If you wanted to dine out, you would have your pickings of hundreds of eateries. If you require something from a Supermarket, you would be able to purchase it. People had the freedom of choosing to do what, when and where.

If there were ever a perfect time for Cyber Criminals, it’s now.

We’re in March 2020: COVID-19 … This term inflicts panic, uncertainty and disorientation. We are living in future history books, as the largest pandemic in generations is now a reality.  Some of the global headlines this month read: “Obey the Virus Rules or Else”, “Coronavirus Crisis”, “This is Not a Game”, “Stay Home to Save Your Life”, “The UK on Lockdown”, “Post-Apocalyptic Future”.

If you want to dine out, you cannot find a restaurant open. If you require something from a Supermarket; it’s either been bought, the stock is low, you do without, or, you brave waiting in line for supermarkets to open; with scenes comparable to Supermarket Sweep.

You do not have the freedom of choosing what, when and where – you are to stay at home, and only venture out for emergencies. We are living in a society not dissimilar to a George Orwell novel.

With choices being squeezed, many will follow the right-hand diagram:

How Coronavirus Has Effected Cyber Security

With the advanced array of IoT devices, “going online” has a multi-purpose meaning. The more devices using an internet connection, the better chance you have someone else connecting to your home network …

The Coronavirus forcing people to stay at home, in turn, forces the use of digitally connected devices. This will be advantageous to Cyber Criminals, and soar in Cyber-Attacks will be prevalent in the coming months.

Phishing and smishing attempts will be rife amidst this pandemic, with Cyber Criminals playing to people’s confusion and fear, sending out “Government Health Warnings” about COVID-19. As a result of people’s vulnerability, alongside the legitimate nature of these messages; individuals are likely to click on links more than ever.

Additionally, online purchasing will snowball as a result of shops being closed, and in correlation, credit card fraud will be on the rise.

It’s a travesty, that during a global pandemic; where humanity is at its most vulnerable, it’s someone’s opportunity to cause further desolation. This is, unfortunately, the world we live in; the world we’ve created. 

If there were ever a perfect time for Cyber Criminals, it’s now.

On a side note; know that malicious links don’t just come via phishing or smishing. Malware that leads to data breaches and infects devices can also be found in:

•          PDF’s

•          Social media posts / links

•          Calendar invites; and

•          Mobile apps to name a few!

As humans, it’s good to trust, and it’s ingrained in most of us, but when it comes to online humans; only trust when there’s proof you can.

In my opinion, if you remain vigilant about anything ‘clickable’, you’re doing okay, and it’s a good attitude to adopt when protecting your data. Never be rushed or coerced into clicking anything or providing any personal information.

On a positive note; post-pandemic, I predict the requirement for Cyber Security Professionals will be at an all-time high. I also feel that as a Nation, our Cyber Security knowledge will be far more advanced. This will be as a result of, not only using our online devices more than usual but in addition to the Cyber Safety information that will be wildly advertised and available. Many businesses right now are providing free Cyber Security advice and assistance to those wanting – to make use! With the outside world being a very perilous environment right now, I can assure you, the online world is equally as contaminated, so be vigilant, and do your best to stay safe both online and offline.

By Fiona Davidson

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]