How COVID-19 has Strengthened Cyber Security Attacks in 2020

Coronavirus-Jul-29-2020-03-33-32-52-PMCOVID-19 has changed virtually all aspects of our lives. Our personal lives are certainly different, and our business lives have also been disrupted. COVID-19 has brought on changes such as more companies working from home, working in the cloud and working from mobile devices. These changes also bring about additional risks to cyber security.
Checkpoint has just released their report on cyber security attack trends for the first half of 2020. The full report can be found here. While there were many cyber attack trends mentioned for 2020, the big one was COVID-19. COVID-19-related attacks grew from fewer than 5,000 per week in February to more than 200,000 per week in late April. In addition, global research efforts to find a vaccine have created new phishing options and made medical research institutions a sought-after target for criminal and state actors. Indeed, intelligence agencies in Canada, the US and the UK recently disclosed that Russian hacker groups have been targeting their COVID-19 vaccine research. If you think the increase in cyber attacks won’t affect your business, think again. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my organization looking for and patching vulnerabilities on a regular basis? Has your organization recently made the switch to cloud services, and are we protected as we should be? Could your business defend itself from a ransomware attack? These questions are important, as there has been a spike in these types of attacks. According to the same Checkpoint report, 80% of exploited vulnerabilities were registered in 2017 or earlier, and more than 20% of those exploited vulnerabilities that were 7 years old or older. The rush to cloud has also exposed more misconfigured or simply unprotected assets to the internet. When it comes to ransomware, hackers have become more intelligent with their attacks. Instead of just encrypting data and asking for payment to decrypt, they now exfiltrate large quantities of data prior to its encryption in the final stage of the attack. Organizations who refuse payment the demands find their most sensitive data publicly displayed on dedicated websites. It is now more important than ever to have a ransomware strategy. If these challenges are keeping you awake at night, contact Uzado. Uzado can help your business with vulnerability management, cloud security and ransomware protection.

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