Since the pandemic, there has been large-scale growth of work-from-home technologies, customer-facing networks, and online cloud services – all of which have been exploited by cyberattackers.
More specifically, hacking and phishing activity increased by 37% between February and March 2020; and between March and April 2020, there were more than 192,000 coronavirus-related cyberattacks being reported each week. That’s a 30% increase compared to pre-coronavirus data.
Now with Russian hackers deep inside the networks of the US Government, things are increasing at an accelerated pace.
Many experts have weighed in on the matter. For example, Gil Shwed, founder and CEO of Check Point, said, “This rapid change means hackers will find a way… The hackers can find a way to hack a personal computer of an employee and through them get into our Crown Jewels.” Knowing this, it’s more important than ever to be watchful of any suspicious online activity and guard yourself with the best cyber protection.
A cyberattack has the potential to spread faster than a biological virus. Cyberattacks can spread at 9x the speed of COVID-19, and can even lie dormant for months while it spreads.
Furthermore, the economic impact of a digital shutdown can be immense. In other words, a digital virus with the same virulence as COVID-19 could brick or wipe 20 million infected devices. With that being said, there is no doubt cyberattacks can be catastrophic.
Even more so, recovering from digital destruction can be very challenging. In fact, tech companies would struggle to meet the surge in demand, grinding the economy to a halt should a massive cyberpandemic happen.
In the near future, we very well might see cyberpandemics that spread faster and further than biological viruses. On top of that, cyberpandemics can carry an equal or even greater economic impact than biological viruses do.
What is a Cyberpandemic?
A cyberpandemic is a self-propagating, digital attack that exploits tech loopholes before patches and antivirus software become available. These digital attacks would most likely attack devices through an operating system or downloaded application and are designed to lie dormant for extended periods of time while the infection spreads unnoticed.
Most cyberattacks are capable of reducing device performance, producing total data loss, and can even make devices inoperable. In more severe cases, such as a cyberpandemic, we could lose internet access. In this case, things would get pretty pricey.
Global loss of internet would cost $50 billion per day. Data centers would lose $12 million per day without internet, manufacturing plants would lose $60 million, and retail stores: $5 million. Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said, “Our country will, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy and the everyday functioning of our society.” With that being said, here are some direct ways to protect your tech.
Cybersecurity Improvements To Protect Your Tech
Re-evaluate your security policies and procedures to reflect the shift to remote work. This can include updating your cyber incident breach responses and disaster recovery plans or adjusting your insurance coverages to match new cyber risk profiles.
Furthermore, consider increasing your bandwidth to remove teleconferencing between sites and adding a cloud access security broker to monitor your security data.
Cybersecurity is needed more than ever before. How will you stay ahead of the next cyberpandemic?