Cyber Security Threats During COVID-19 Pandemic


The cybersecurity threat is nothing new in the digital world. It was always there. But it seems like the hackers and the cybercriminals have got a huge opportunity during this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

Worldwide, most of the organizations have been asked to stop operating from the bricks and mortar offices. And the employees have been asked to follow organization-wise “work from home” protocols. And cybercriminals are making full use of this opportunity and indulging themselves in malicious online activities. 

Now, suddenly switching to “work from home” already comes with so many struggles like keeping the focus on work intact while wearing your pyjama probably, or maybe giving attention to your loving pets that are dying to get your attention! Well, not to mention, there are children too! So, balancing priorities while working from is already pretty much tough. Now, in addition to this, cyber threats! 

Which Industries Are At The Risk Most?

Here is a list of the industries that are at the most risk during this pandemic and have become the first targets for most of the cyberattacks. 

Healthcare Industry

This industry is already going through innumerable challenges to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and manage things between the global health crises. Now, as per a recent report, the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States has got hit by a DDoS attack during the middle of March. 

Though according to the officials from the department, the attack failed to meet its objective and could not disrupt the network of the department. But still, such harmful cyber threats always get on the nerves of the healthcare industry! 

Read Also:- Benefits of AI in Cyber Security

The Industry of Medical Supplies and Manufacturing 

During the global health crisis, the demand for medical supplies and manufacturing industries will be – it is a known fact. The reports of counterfeit face masks were already there. And now, reports are saying that the demand for ventilators is too high now as it is required to provide healthcare services to the Coronavirus affected ones. So, these industries are already pretty much under the pressure due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Now, threat groups like TA505 have been already indulged in spear-phishing campaigns related to COVID-19 which can have terrifying impacts. 

The COVID-19 Threats to the Financial Industry

Well, how the post-pandemic financial scenario is going to be- more or less every industry can feel that. The financial recession is already knocking at the door. The status of the stock market is enough to increase your heartbeats. In the last 30 years, the stock market has never fallen this much. So, you can imagine how it is going to affect the related investment and banking industries.

In this scenario, the entire financial industry is at risk of being attacked by cybercriminals. 

The Government and Partnered Media Outlets

In the time of such a global pandemic, it is undoubtedly very challenging for every government out there to make sure no misinformation is being circulated among the masses. Otherwise, things might become worse and might go out of the hands to manage. So, reaching the mass with timely as well as the right information is essential during the time of this global health crisis. 

Amid so much chaos, hackers might just attack this field as well. 

How Businesses Can Tackle these Cybersecurity Threats During the Pandemic 

During this panic-stricken time, already the normal business flow is kind of hampered in many sectors due to the sudden enforcement of mandatory “work from home” protocol. The office set up and the “home office” setup is not the same thing. Now, there is this cybersecurity threat as well.

Well, here are some ways businesses can tackle these threats and can respond to these smartly.

First, Analyze What Type of Threat Can Affect Your Organization

Unless you understand the probable threats, you cannot stay prepared to fight it or to stop it successfully. So, organization heads must sit and consult with the security team regarding the threats that can leave a severe impact on the organization. 

Assessing the attack vectors beforehand can help businesses to sort out a plan to protect any sensitive information.

Establish Clear Communication, Set Up A Guideline and Ask Employees to Follow It

Make sure that the work from home protocol is clear to all the employees and they understand thoroughly what steps they need to follow. Instruct employees to report any suspicious activity to the dedicated security team. 

Make Sure the Security Capabilities are Done Rightly in the Remote Environments Too

Every enterprise follows its network security practice. Implementing the same practice in the remote environment too might be the best idea. 

  • Using automated threat intelligence to block C2 traffic, malware, etc
  • Using VPN tools with encryption
  • Ensuring all the devices have an endpoint protection
  • Filtering out the dangerous domain URLs
  • Systematizing MFA (multi-factor authentication)
  • Performing DNS sink holding

All these actions can help businesses to secure their sensitive business data. 

Still, it is crucial that you consult with your dedicated cybersecurity team first and depending on your business genre and what type of processes are involved in your business, take the right decision

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Pratip Biswas is the Founder and CEO of Unified Infotech, a New York-based web design company that has been featured in Deloitte Fast 500 | Fastest growing tech companies in 2018. His company is working with Enterprises, SMB’s and Start-ups to improve their efficiency through Digital Adoption and help them discover new possibilities through constant innovations. Pratip also writes regularly on Blockchain technology and has been published in publications like "Yourstory", "Dzone" etc