Coronavirus and Cybersecurity: Parallels and Precautions

Posted by Tyler Ward on Mar 11, 2020 10:43:27 AM

Within the cybersecurity community, there is a sense of familiarity surrounding the COVID-19 spread. As cybersecurity professionals, we have grown accustomed to witnessing, reacting, and mitigating threats as they spread through the ether and touch, quite literally, every part of the globe. While the experience between cybersecurity and human safety are unique in their own ways, there are similarities that can, and are being applied for both.

Cyber-attackers are leveraging the COVID-19 news to send structured phishing and social engineering attacks to victims. Currently, fake emails are being distributed that appear to be coming from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). These emails contain malicious links, malware, and other nefarious artifacts that seek to compromise you or your organization.

And that's just one example of attackers taking advantage of a crisis situation.

Technological viruses and malware have commonalities with real-world tangible counterparts. Leveraging some of the same techniques can help to ensure that you are prepare for both:

1. Hygiene: Cyber-hygiene is critical and is something that all cyber professionals emphasize on a daily basis. This includes preparing for threats, impact minimization, and ultimately expecting the worst to occur. We counteract these threats by forming strategies to effectively mitigate or minimize impact, like ensuring that your technological environment is well-secured, patched, and managed accordingly.

And when it comes to physical hygiene—follow CDC recommendations to wash your hands, don't touch your face, and avoid contact with anyone that shows symptoms of illness.

2. Isolation: In cybersecurity, isolation and containment of threats is a top priority and a long-trusted strategy. Once a threat, infection, or attack has broken out, isolation of the infected environment must be achieved swiftly to save those assets that are unaffected.

Physically, the same rules apply: Isolate yourself if you believe that you are ill. Whether you have COVID-19, Influenza, Rhinovirus, or anything similar, avoid contact with people and promptly seek medical attention. As companies, establishing emergency remote-work policies—even if you never have to use them—make the transition seamless for your workforce.

3. Planning: The most impactful portion of any outbreak is planning—these situations teach us lessons on how to plan better for next time. We learn how to prepare, defend, and eradicate the threats. We know that these issues are cyclical and can be expected at some point. However, we are always observing and learning how to better plan and lessen the impact of such dangerous situations.

Collectively, we can all learn from these pandemics and technological threat outbreaks. Learn to be more proactive, practice good hygiene and upkeep, strength the immune systems of yourself—and of your IT environment.

As top medical professionals are sharing their expertise around the COVID-19 outbreak, IGI is doing the same for cyber threats. Practicing simple, yet effective techniques can halt or severely diminish the severity and spread of COVID-19 and technological malware and attack outbreaks.

In times of viral uncertainty, remote work has become a method to lessen physical contact with others and keep yourself healthy. Remote work capabilities are a strategy that our team at IGI uses and this further helps to mitigate some of the risks of illnesses spreading.

The IGI cybersecurity team is working diligently and remotely to help our customers stay safe—all without having to travel to you and risk the spread of disease.

Contact us today for a remote cybersecurity consultation.


Topics: Cybersecurity, Hacking, Coronavirus, COVID-19