The COVID-19 pandemic, to put it in the simplest of terms, has been a drain on most of us. There are exceptions, of course – some home delivery services and online communication platforms have enjoyed skyrocketing sales, for instance. But overall, Americans are struggling under the weight of the pandemic and the necessary countermeasures to combat it.
That suffering makes it all the more maddening that cybercriminals have pounced on society’s vulnerable state with such glee. From spear phishing attacks posing as stimulus payments to ransomware targeting overtaxed hospitals to even attacks on educational systems, the lows to which these fraudsters will stoop have no limit.
It’s vital, then, to understand exactly what we are up against on the digital front.
ISSA’s Report on Cybersecurity and the Pandemic
A recent report from the Information Security Systems Association (ISSA), which surveyed 364 cybersecurity professionals from the organization’s member list, paints a troubling picture.
For one, 39% of respondents said their organizations were “very prepared” to keep work-from-home devices secure, but 27% said they were “underprepared.” Considering this sentiment comes amid a new work-from-home status quo, that suggests a serious issue brewing.
Other notable findings:
- 20% of cybersecurity professionals “have seen a significant increase in attempted cyber-attacks”; 43% claim “a slight increase in attempted cyber-attacks.”
- “Slightly more than one-third of organizations have experienced significant improvement in coordination between business, IT, and security executives as a result of COVID-19 issues, 38% have seen marginal relationship improvements, and 21% aren’t convinced but hold out hope for coordination improvement.”
- A plurality of organizations don’t expect any changes to their cybersecurity budgets. “Of the others, 20% believe that COVID-19 security requirements will lead to an increase in security spending in 2020 while 25% think their organizations will be forced to decrease security spending this year.”
COVID-19 cyber opportunists aren’t just threatening organizational information systems, of course. Scams targeting consumers have been all the rage. Washington Post, for example, recently reported that coronavirus fraud has cost individuals more than $114 million and counting.
Some experts believe the situation will only get more dire as Americans become more desperate. Out-of-work individuals who are anxious and scrambling to get by are more likely to slip up. It behooves us all to increase our cyber savvy and follow best cybersecurity practices protect ourselves, our families and our coworkers.
Lunarline is a leading educator in cybersecurity, and we’re here to help you get your employees up to speed in these trying times. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.