How has Covid-19 shaped the cyber sector?

Written by Carl Ottewill

The pandemic has proved challenging for all businesses across all sectors of industry. Covid-19 has had no barriers in penetrating companies on a global scale and the impacts in the cyber space have been tremendous.

Working from home has also had huge implications on the risk of businesses and the data they hold not only on people, but also on mission critical data. The almost instant shift from working in an office to working from home has been incredibly challenging for people of all levels. Getting used to using new collaboration software for sharing vital information has seen a rise in the use of social tools such as Zoom, MS Teams, Slack and Skype.

But, having large amounts of new users on these platforms created a new risk of hacking. At the start of the pandemic back in April 2020, Zoom had a massive scare when hackers got hold of 500,000 passwords which also contained credentials and usernames. This was only highlighted after the fact when they came up for auction on the dark web when Zoom had hit 300 million monthly users.

Collaboration and communication tools weren’t the only ones hit by cyber criminals; the financial sector was also hit by hackers more than any other sector during the pandemic. Estimates say that the financial sector has seen a 54% increase in cases concerning hacking, which again illustrates the importance of having cyber security experts within businesses.

If you thought that you were safe from hackers then think again, brazen Russian hackers even had a crack at the NHS and vaccine related information through cyber-espionage. A report from National Cyber Security Centre said, that out of one million NHS IP addresses, a whopping 51 thousand had indicators of compromise. There were also risks due to the NHS Covid-19 test and trace app.

What can a business do to protect itself from cyber-crime?

  • Limit employee access to your data & information
  • Install surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies
  • Patch your operating systems and software regularly
  • Install and activate software and hardware firewalls
  • Secure all wireless access points and networks
  • Set up web and email filters

If you are looking for a cyber expert to support your business, Pertemps have a roster of tried and tested candidates that have assisted our public and private sector clients throughout this process. Contact me at Carl.Ottewill@pertemps.co.uk for a confidential chat about how we can support and add value.

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