When Cyber Attacks Surge in Times of Crisis

Posted by Rich Popper on Mar 27, 2020 10:19:07 AM

The world has turned upside-down in mere matter of weeks. Business are closed, states and countries are shut down, old routines are gone in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Times of crisis, especially those on a global scale, require strong leadership along with every individual helping to do their part for the sake of the broader community. The World Health Organization (WHO) is on the front line, helping to track and eradicate the novel coronavirus across the globe, much like they did with smallpox and other diseases. Especially in times like this, we should all be thankful that WHO is watching our collective backs when it comes to diseases that threaten humanity.

Sadly, this is not the case. In the last few weeks, it has been discovered that elite hackers are actively trying to break into WHO to steal passwords. This is more than doubling of the number of cyberattacks against WHO in this time period.

Why? Nobody knows for sure yet. However, these threat actors are causing valuable WHO resources to have to focus on cyber protection rather than helping with the global crisis.

WHO isn’t the only organization facing this problem. Companies of all sizes across all industries around the world are being aggressively targeted. The threat actors don’t stop during uncertain times. In fact, they are even more active, knowing that companies are sending people home and are distracted by the economic disruption. They are just waiting for someone to slip up—click on a phishing email, leave a port open, push off patching vulnerabilities, etc.—so that they can access and exfiltrate valuable data.

Smart companies are doubling down on their cybersecurity programs right now, to keep their assets safe. Whether it’s adding continuous scanning, moving to a full MDR solution or adding a vCISO to the team to oversee their entire security program, companies that want to emerge intact beyond the pandemic need to take steps now. Stay safe—be as diligent with your company’s cybersecurity program to keep threat actors away as you are with your personal routine for stopping any exposure to COVID-19.

Topics: Cybersecurity, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Remote Work