COVID Pandemic Taught Small Business These Important Cyber Security Lessons (INFOGRAPHIC)

covid business cyber security

With working from home the new norm, hackers are exploiting weaknesses in new working practices. The sharp increase in hacking and phishing activity has shone the light on the importance of cyber security.

Exploring the risks surfacing in the post-COVID economy, Data Connectors have compiled an infographic. Data Connectors are providers of the largest cyber security community in the US. The ‘Cybersecurity for the Post-Covid Economy’ infographic looks at the cyber security risks the pandemic has exposed. It looks at how businesses can make cyber security improvements to protect their tech and data.

COVID Cyber Security Lessons for Small Business

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed working practices, perhaps indefinitely. Remote work is now a common part of the workplace. Research shows 1 in 3 employees believe cyber security of their company is a moderate or major issue.

With hacking and other cyber crime on the rise, it is vital small businesses take cyber security seriously. Protecting systems, networks and devices are important in the race against cyber crime on businesses.

As Itai Sel, CEO of Naval Dome, comments for Data Connectors’ infographic:

“Companies are stretched thin and this is benefitting the hacker. It is not sufficient to protect only networks from the attack. Each individual system must be protected. If networks are penetrated, then all connected systems will be infected.”

The Threat of Coronavirus-Related Cyber Attacks

In March and April 2020, more than 192,000 COVID-related cyber attacks were reported each week. This is a 30% increase in the number of reported cyber-attacks compared to pre-coronavirus.

Why Business are at a Greater Risk

The infographic asks why businesses are at a greater risk of falling victim to cyber crime. It cites the large-scale growth of working from home, customer-facing networks, and online cloud services as being exploited by cyber criminals.

What COVID Teaches Us About Cyber Crime and Security

According to Data Connectors’ research, cyberattacks can spread at nine times the rate of Covid-19. They can also lie dormant for months while they spread.

The economic impact of a digital shutdown could be immense, the infographic warns. For example, a digital virus with the same virulence as Covid-19 could brick or wipe 20 million infected devices.

The Challenges of Recovering from Digital Destruction

The infographic warns that tech companies could struggle to meet the surge in demand of a digital shutdown. Failing to keep up with demand could grind the economy to a halt.

Threat of Cyber Pandemics

The research points to the threat of ‘cyberpandemics’ and that future pandemics could be cyber-related. Such pandemics could spread faster and further than a biological virus, with an equal or even greater economic impact. A global loss of internet would cost $50 billion per day, says the infographic.

Improvements Small Businesses Can Make to Protect Themselves

Since February 2020, there has been a 600% increase in phishing. 67% of businesses have experienced an IoT security incident. 55% of organizations plan to increase IT/OT alignment.

As businesses continue to work from home, security polices and procedures must be implemented to reflect the shift. Such policies and procedures should include disaster recovery plans. Having a business disaster plan in place, is one of the best ways to prepare for disasters of all kinds.

The infographic advises businesses to adjust insurance coverage to incorporate cyber risk. New policies should also be put int place for mobile security and bring-your-own- devices.

Businesses should also consider increasing bandwidth to move teleconferencing between sites. Secure VPN access should be established for employee workstations. Data should be monitors by adding a cloud access security broker. Network-level authentication should be made part of remote desk protocols.

Company-issued devices need to be managed centrally with remote monitoring, opposed to assigning administrative privileges to end-users.

In the ‘new’ business climate, businesses need to be more vigilant than ever about the risks of cyber crime.

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".