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The Future of Cybersecurity: COVID-19 Impacts

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Cybersecurity was important pre-COVID-19, and it will be even more important post-COVID-19. As people around the globe are required to work from home, telework is becoming engrained into the fabric of billions of organizations, whether they like it or not. Does this mean we’ll see a widespread conversion to virtual work in the long-term? Probably not— but increased adoption of remote work will largely impact the future of cybersecurity.

We may not be able to predict the future, but we have a pretty good idea of where it’s headed. For starters, COVID-19 poses the risk of increased cyberattacks as people are now reliant on digital tools. With more people online and more time spent online, the attack surface has grown exponentially. Many of these vulnerabilities can be tied to lack of visibility, accidental data exposure, and phishing attacks—all of which can be mitigated through proper workforce training.

Before you can train your workforce, you need to know what exactly you’re up against. Here are some emerging threats and challenges posed by COVID-19 that will impact the future of cybersecurity:

  • Fraudulent products, misinformation, and scams: Amid the pandemic, we’re seeing cybercriminals offer fake products from masks and vaccines to COVID-19 antidotes. While we won’t see COVID-specific fake products in the long term, it’s possible that we start seeing similar products emerge for new viruses down the road. We could even see an increase in cyber espionage across government and private-sector enterprises as competitors race to develop a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
  • Phishing emails: Similar to fraudulent products, misinformation, and scams, cybercriminals have taken phishing to the next level. Campaigns have emerged over the past few months using COVID-19 labeled attachments and webpage links that launch malicious malware and ransomware to a user’s device. Phishing will continue to be a formidable threat to organizations post-COVID-19 as cybercriminals use current events and relevant trends to lure people in.
  • Malware and corona malware variants: After the pandemic, we will see different types of malware circulate—some impersonating programs, apps or software offering work-from-home tools, and some targeting people using job ad websites.
  • Network upkeep: The remote work transition has exposed many network weaknesses for organizations both big and small. This makes it difficult for companies to update devices, monitor logs, conduct forensics tests and ensure shared, private documents are secure. Without proper training and security policies, workers will continue to expose data and devices to vulnerabilities that put the organization at risk. Continuity plans and security policies will require continuous updates moving forward.

Carolina Advanced Digital offers a breadth of security solutions including products and services for end user security awareness and phishing platforms, security reviews and assessments, secure remote access, endpoint security, firewalls, sandboxing, and professional and managed services. Contact us today to schedule a free call with a team member to discuss your needs.