cybersecurity risk

Cybersecurity Risk and the Impact of COVID-19: Full Report

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the cybersecurity risk of businesses? Read on to learn more.

Impact of COVID-19 on Cybersecurity Risk

No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for businesses. For one, adapting the work-from-home model became the new normal for them.

Companies also accelerated their digital transformation efforts. And now, cybersecurity is a major concern. If companies fail to attend to the rising concern of cybersecurity risks, their operations, reputation, and legal are at risk. 

Really, how has the pandemic affected digital working and cybersecurity?

At the start of the pandemic, governments imposed restrictions all over the world. One of those is the “stay-at-home” mandate of public health officials.

Technology also became an important part of working. But despite this need, many companies still don’t have a cyber-safe remote working environment.

For instance, 350 cyberattacks in April 2020 happened only in Switzerland. And that’s higher than the norm of 100-150 cyberattacks. 

The major cause? The COVID-19 pandemic. Employees who work from home do not have the same level of protection and security measures from a working environment.

The case for increased cybersecurity protection and risk

Reports also show that 47% of individuals fall for phishing scams while working at home. That’s why the increase in remote working calls for a greater focus on cybersecurity.

As if the pandemic is not scary enough, cybercriminals see this situation as an opportunity. Now, they step up their criminal activities more than ever.

Aside from the vulnerability of employees, the public is also interest in coronavirus-related news. Cybercriminals use that to create malicious fake coronavirus-related websites.

Data breaches are also on the rise now. Unfortunately, the average cost of a data breach resulting from remote working can be as much as $137,000.

Cybersecurity risk on video conferencing services

Another example of cybersecurity risk in remote working is on video conferencing services. Because employees are working from home, they have to do their meetings virtually.

But, that poses a security concern. In fact, breaches between February and May 2020 affected more than half a million people.

Personal information like names and passwords was also stolen and sold on the dark web. Business operations were also disrupted because they rely heavily on video conferencing.

There were also instances where uninvited members gain access to virtual meetings. Some even obtain confidential or sensitive information.

As a result, other parties knew about this information. It can also damage the reputation of the company.

Final Thoughts

Remote working has created challenges for many small and medium-sized companies. But, are we prepared for these?

Unfortunately, cybersecurity was not always a key priority. In the post-pandemic world, companies should be more active in addressing the threats.

Now, it’s critical for them to plan ways of preventing successful cyberattacks rather than responding when they occur. If anything, that’s what the pandemic taught us. Preparation and prevention are always the keys to limit risks.

So, companies need to make their remote working practices resilient. So, they can enhance how they can fight for them and mitigate the consequences.

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