The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created new obstacles for businesses as they transition to an operating model that relies on working from home. Due to the situation’s complexity, many companies need to take adequate measures to address the cybersecurity threat. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Cybersecurity

Many employees have started to work from home. Despite the increasing importance of technology, many companies still need to provide a cyber-safe environment.

According to data released by the NCSC in June 2020, there were 350 cases of cyberattacks in Switzerland in April, which is significantly higher than the usual number of around 100-150. This type of attack was due to the increasing number of people working from home and the lack of adequate protection for them.

Do We Need Increased Cybersecurity?

With an increasing number of people working from home, cyber-attackers can exploit these individuals. Hackers can capitalize on the people’s interest in the coronavirus pandemic by launching phishing scams and spreading fake news about the virus.

On July 8, 2020, the City Of London Police revealed that over 11 million pounds had been lost to fraudulent COVID-19 activities since January 2020. One in seven survey respondents in Switzerland had experienced an attack during the pandemic.

Cyberattacks on Video Conferencing Services

Cyber attackers use video conferencing services’ vulnerability to steal personal data, including their names, email addresses, and passwords.

In addition to using the vulnerability of these services, the criminals were also able to access the credentials of their victims by using credential stuffing, a type of cyberattack involving stealing login details.

In some cases, unwanted and unqualified individuals can gain access to a virtual meeting and collect sensitive or confidential information. This data can then be sold to third parties or disseminated to the public.

The Cyber Threat 

Many criminals also believe that the current security measures are not strong enough to prevent them from carrying out successful attacks.

Hacktivists, are individuals fighting for political and social issues, are also contributing factors to the rise of cybercrime.

Junior hackers, also known as script kiddies, are experimenting with different cyberattack packages to improve their skills. Due to the emergence of COVID-19, many of these threats have become more prevalent.

The increasing number of businesses using BYOD policies, which allow employees to use their own devices for work, has contributed to the rise of cyberattacks. This trend enables employees to access their company’s data from their devices.

Although working from home may seem like a step toward a more secure environment, it does not mean that employees are protected from cyberattacks. Even with the latest security solutions, they are still more prone to getting victimized by hackers when using their personal computers.

A home working environment needs the proper detection and prevention measures, and Wi-Fi networks are also more vulnerable to attacks.

Another issue that employees may encounter when working from home is human error, which is already a primary concern before the pandemic. With that in mind, social visitors or family members may interrupt their work.

Due to the increasing distractions, employees are more prone to making mistakes when working from home. To prevent this, IT systems should adapt to the changes in working practices, such as implementing time-outs, segregating duties, and automated controls.