How COVID-19 changed technology

COVID-19 pandemic has been a high trigger event for most of the industries we know, with the introduction of social distancing rules these have forced millions of industry owners to opt for other less traditional working methods such as telecommuting, however, what about the technology industries, how have they been affected by the COVID-19 security? In this article we will see how these companies have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how cyber attacks on technology companies have increased, as well as discover what the future of technological industries security will be.

The change of technological industries due to the pandemic:

Technological industries have been under enormous pressure during the pandemic, due to the implementation of remote work. Adapting to this modality has been a challenge both for technology companies due to the implementation of new collaboration software to work remotely and ensure quality of work, and for computer security companies due to the challenge of ensuring remote electronic devices.

Therefore, security companies play an important role, because business leaders and their workers have required access to services, applications and internal information to perform operations remotely, however, if these external devices from which these operations are performed are not properly secured, they can be victims of cyber attacks in which information of vital importance to the company is compromised and would be reflected in capital losses. A study carried out by  IBM earlier this year, revealed that the cost of hacking and business security incidents such as theft of important information, leads to losses of average of $3.86 million per incident.

Hackers never stop:

At a time when major global events are taking place, cyber attacks and fraud risks for employees and companies alike are booming, malware such as phishing and ransomware have been engineered to create hacking methods for technology companies to obtain information.

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has established the most frequent types of cyber attacks during this health crisis produced by COVID-19, which are:

  • Malicious domains: Hackers have created domains registered with the keywords “Corona” or “COVID”, developed with malicious intentions, which take advantage of the numerous searches for information on COVID-19. At the end of March this year, 2,022 malicious and 40,261 newly registered high-risk domains were discovered, according to Palo Alto Networks.
  • Online Scams and Phishing: Cybercriminals have created fake websites using COVID-19 as a lure for users who want to search for information related to this topic, victims open malicious attachments or click on phishing links, resulting in phishing or illegal access to personal or business accounts. In addition, Trend Micro reported that nearly one million spam messages have been linked to COVID-19 since January 2020.
  • Data collection malware: Data-stealing malware, such as remote access Trojans, spyware and banking Trojans, are introduced into systems, using COVID-19-related information as a bait to compromise networks, steal data, divert money and build botnets.
  • The vulnerability of working from home: Malicious hackers exploit the vulnerabilities of systems, networks and applications used by businesses, governments and schools to support staff who now work remotely. As more and more people rely on online tools, they overload the security measures in place before the COVID-19 outbreak, and criminals look for more opportunities to expose themselves to data theft, profit, or business security incidents.

What’s next?

As we know, the crisis due to COVID-19 will be temporary, so it is necessary to think about what will happen to the technological industries after health situation is under control and they must return to work under traditional conditions. Therefore, here are some considerations to be made after the health crisis:

Some organizations will have to move to new models of operation, this because after the crisis many companies, especially in the area of technology, will require careful management of cyber security. Remote workers will need to be monitored as well as workers transitioning from their homes to the office, and security professionals must ensure that systems and access are carefully analyzed before connecting to company networks. Similarly, the cyber risks that emerged during the pandemic must be understood; for example, security experts must examine the digital capabilities of critical business functions to reinforce these weaknesses and ensure protection against future attacks. Businesses will also need to re-adjust their security system to ensure that there are no outliers, rebooting both physical and digital systems to check for holes in the security fence, and conducting an audit to determine whether data designed during the pandemic to allow remote working should be updated or revoked.

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