COVID-19 Security Threats

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By Bill Minahan   |   June 18, 2020   |   0 Comments

Security threats emerging from COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has globally impacted businesses and caused a series of security threats to emerge.

Businesses have rapidly shifted to remote working and consequently, holes and vulnerabilities in security are becoming increasingly apparent.

In a recent study done by Barracuda Networks, 46% of respondents had experienced at least one security incident since lockdown restrictions.

Furthermore, 51% of respondents reported an increase in email phishing attacks. A further 49% said they anticipated a data breach or similar cyber security incident within the next month. Consequently, 49% of decision-makers in the UK, US, France, and Germany believe they were not adequately educated in the security threats that accompany remote work.

Despite these numbers, over half of the respondents continue to allow employees to use personal devices and email addresses to complete work.

Read more: Full list of COVID-19 security threats and scams

How to avoid COVID-19 related security threats

Hackers are using several sophisticated social engineering tactics to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to stay on top of the evolving nature of every social engineering attack that could put your business at risk. However, there are a few easy to follow security best practices that can significantly reduce your risk of a security incident.

Specifically, the following practices will protect you from the security threats emerging from COVID-19 pandemic as well as any other future similar events.

Build yourself an exceptional incident response plan

An incident response plan is a fancy term for knowing exactly what to do when things go south. In short, it means that regardless of whatever incident occurs, your team is ready to respond with a plan. Your incident response plan should be well thought out, documented, tested, and shared with every employee. An incident response plan increases confidence, structure, and performance within an organization. It reduces downtime between security incidents or unpredictable events and allows your business operations to continue normally despite obstacles.

Waiting until after a pandemic hits to create a response plan is problematic on many fronts. First and foremost, it puts the security of your organization at risk. You may have a good plan to secure your digital assets in your office. However, an incident response plan covers what the plan is when you and your employees can no longer access your office.

Educate yourself and your employees

Likewise, you do not want to wait until a pandemic begins to start teaching management and employees about prevalent security threats. Your end-users are your weakest link. During a pandemic, you want your employees to strengthen and defend your security, not weaken it.

However, without proper training, employees can not be expected to separate a malicious phishing email from normal correspondence. Amid COVID-19, entire workforces must communicate digitally, which means more emails are being sent. In short, it is time to invest in training your employees to act cautiously online if you have not already.

Depending on the needs of your employees, there is a plethora of free material online as well as sophisticated, data-driven online security awareness training programs.

See: aNetworks online security awareness training for employees

Complete a cyber security assessment for your business

Every security threat emerging from COVID-19 has the potential to impact your business differently than it may impact others. Your business has unique risks, vulnerabilities, and dynamics that must be taken into consideration.

In order to determine your security vulnerabilities, your business should take a cyber security assessment. Afterward, your team will have an ordered list of risks based on likelihood and impact. As a result, your security team can tackle the most important vulnerabilities first. Security assessments are important regardless of circumstance. However, COVID-19 has brought with it a myriad of security threats. As a result, it is more important than ever to determine your riskiest vulnerabilities so that you can resolve them swiftly.

More: aNetwork’s free NIST cyber security assessment

Strengthen your cyber security today

If you are looking to strengthen your cyber security, then aNetworks is here to help. Our team of security experts is knowledgeable and up to speed on the security threats emerging from COVID-19.

We work as an extension of your team to understand your business and mitigate the most pressing security vulnerabilities within your organization.

If you are interested in learning more, then please contact us below.

Contact us

Otherwise, you can call us directly at 855-459-6600.

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