Coronavirus – a new cyber security threat?2 min read

19/Mar/2020

Any number of events can change the cybersecurity landscape, with varying impacts and implications. A natural disaster can shut down critical aspects of national infrastructure, for example, leading to vulnerabilities, or a string of phishing attacks can disrupt business operations and severely damage the reputation of a trusted retailer. COVID-19 is the latest – and possibly the most drastic – global event, with widespread effects that will touch every organisation, regardless of industry.

Nobody has a clear idea of when the pandemic will be considered over or what the ramifications will be. Several security concerns instantly became crucial, such as unhappy former or current staff, hardware shortages and supply chain disruptions. This is all in addition to business disruptions due to unpredictable and changing consumer patterns. Finally, a number of businesses are sending their employees to work from home, which presents other cyber security risks.

There are a number of steps that organisations can take to mitigate some of these risks. For example, make sure your employees are properly trained to recognise and avoid phishing emails and scams. Ensure that they are taking hope their work computers, if possible. If not, set up a secure VPN to make sure that sensitive information remains secure.

For the larger issues, enact any contingency plans that have already been put into place, and review how useful these are, making adjustments as necessary. Continue to monitor your third-party ecosystem for cyberattacks, using a solution like CyDesk, and ensure your customers and employees that you are taking the necessary steps to minimise any disruptions. When these precautions have been implemented, take the time to thoroughly analyse your business operations and create a plan to ensure that the core business remains operational. Review your dependencies – physical or cyber – highlighting critical suppliers, anticipating potential disturbances, and minimise these connections where possible. Finally, continuously observe the ongoing situation, taking key steps within your mitigation plan as soon as possible.

COVID-19 has disrupted the entire world – but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your business. Be proactive and thoughtful, and we’ll soon be on the other side!

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