It’s very likely you or someone you know has engaged in virtual work means since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s equally likely you or someone you know has received some form of spam, phishing attempt, or undergone a cyberattack since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s important to stay vigilant and make sure to know what to do if your identity has been stolen.
We all know that cyberattacks have been going on since the pandemic, but wouldn’t you argue there’s been a rise in malicious internet exchanges since we’ve all gone remote? If not, data does.
The Rise in Cyberattacks Since COVID-19
The novel coronavirus broke ground in the United States in the early months of 2020. Similarly, hacking and phishing activity increased by 37% between the months of February and March 2020.
On top of that, hackers carried on into the months of March and April 2020, when coronavirus-related cyberattacks were being reported in numbers greater than 192,000 cases per week. When compared to pre-coronavirus cases, this was a 30% increase.
Careers That Have Gone Remote
Mostly every industry has gone remote. As a result, mostly everyone on the internet is susceptible to a cyberattack. Here are a few examples of folks who complete the majority of their work online:
- SEO Experts
- Software Engineers
An SEO expert specializes in enhancing websites to improve their search engine rankings. A typical day online for an SEO expert can consist of link building, pitching, content creating, or website building.
While each professional’s tasks may not lead us across the same virtual paths, there is still an overlap in internet use – putting us all at risk for attack.
Knowing this, it’s important we all take security into our own hands. Hackers attack every 39 seconds, and breaches will only increase until we change our approach to authentication.
How To Stay Secure Online
To begin, ensure your accounts are equipped with the strongest login credentials. 81% of security incidents were tied to stolen or weak passwords in 2018, and two-factor authentication has been found to be easily spoofed. The following tips can help you stay more alert and secure when browsing the web.
Use biometric security to login
Biometrics are hard to fool, though some tech has had issues with false positives. Still, biometrics require no password to remember and no extra steps for end-users.
Require network-level authentication
The strength of two-step authentication varies on the weakest factor used. Most commonly, two-step authentication is paired with a one-time passcode, which hackers can intercept before they are delivered to us. By requiring network-level authentication, businesses can increase security realms around remote desktops.
Create new mobile security and bring-your-own-device policies
Alternatively to this, businesses can issue company-provided devices. This can provide businesses with an opportunity to manage devices centrally via remote monitoring rather than assigning administrative privileges to end-users. By lessening the ratio of teammates with administrative positions, brands can lower their chances of hackers obtaining private data in the instance of a breach.
Will the Next Pandemic Be Virtual?
Modern cyberattacks are designed to lie dormant for extended periods of time – months to weeks – as the infection spreads throughout the target’s operating system, folders, and applications.
In the near future, we could even see cyberattacks that fold out into cyber pandemics: a digital attack that exploits tech loopholes before patches and antivirus software become available. If this happens, the impact could be even greater than one from a biological virus.
With that being said, cybersecurity is more important than ever. How are you staying protected online?