What Covid Has Taught Us About Cyber Security
The year 2020 has proved particularly difficult in the world of cyber security. As businesses and organizations everywhere have shifted to remote working and digital correspondence due to covid, hackers have used this opportune time to their advantage. While data breaches and cyber crimes have always been a threat, 2020 further exposed where those gaps lie and created more interference than ever before.
So, what cyber security lessons did we take away from 2020? Let’s dive in.
- Phishing attacks aren’t going anywhere. If you aren’t familiar with phishing attacks, now is the time to educate yourself. In short, phishing is a type of attack in which a hacker attempts to steal data like login credentials or credit card numbers. It’s often discrete, hiding behind links in emails, texts, or instant messages. If the link is clicked, you could be subject to malware installation and loss of data. Phishing has always been the top threat in cyber security breaches, but continued to grow in 2021. People are online now more than ever, leading to increased vulnerability. Covid related scams like fake jobs posts and financial claims have led to increased click rates, and hackers continue to take advantage of people’s fears by stealing money and sensitive information.
- Collaboration tools need to be secured. While cloud based sharing has been an ongoing trend for quite some time, organizations are using it more often as a result of remote working. However, most organizations don’t know how to secure cloud based solutions, and hackers are quick to jump on it. Collaborative tools like Google Drive, Zoom, Canva, and project management tools have become more susceptible to data loss, and must be secured. Meeting organizers should be utilizing built-in security features like waiting rooms, password protection, and user capabilities. Meeting links should not be taken lightly, and shared with only those in an organization. Softwares should be continually updated, and employees should only accept links from trusted sources.
- Cyber security training needs improvement. Oftentimes, employee cyber security training is done during onboarding, and that’s the extent of it. Some organizations choose to do bi-annual training, but even that’s not enough. Cyber security should be top of mind for employees at all times; and not as a result of an attack once it’s already been done. Due to the increased cyber attacks in 2020, many leaders are investing in new training tools, and making that training a more routine part of their organization’s continued education. Remote working has left employees on their own, so it’s particularly important that they know best practices surrounding working environments, router security, VPN’s, two factor authentication, phishing attacks, etc.
- Virtual learning and telemedicine is here to stay. If there are two particular systems most impacted by Covid, it’s education and healthcare. Millions of students were suddenly unable to go to school, and patients were unable to see doctors and get the healthcare they needed. With these two major industries switching to online learning and health advising, ransomware has been on a steady incline. This is a process by which cyber attackers encrypt or lock a victim out of their files and/or networks, and ask for a ransom to get their access back. Attackers know that schools and hospitals would pay the ransom, as the loss of student and patient data could prove far worse of a financial setback than ransom pay. In order to combat these attacks, schools and hospitals most update their risk assessments, and create safe and secure distance learning and telemedicine tools. Cyber security training for educators and healthcare professionals should also be made a priority.
If you’re looking for someone to help you secure your organization’s data and networks, you’ve come to the right place! Thinline Technologies provides a variety of cyber security consulting solutions and can provide peace of mind as we move into 2021. Visit our services page for more info, and contact us today!