Posted on January 29, 2021 at 10:29 AM
Due to COVID-19, many establishments and corporations have been forced to perform their jobs and operations on digital platforms. And while a remote work arrangement reduces the risk of virus transmission, having everything revolve around an online workspace poses a different kind of cyber danger altogether.
True enough, even the World Health Organization recorded a fivefold increase in cyber attacks targeting its staff last year. If fraudsters are capable of harassing such a large global organization, they are more than able to attack the small and medium enterprises who don’t have robust cyber defenses to protect themselves.
As such, businesses need to keep up with cybersecurity trends to fend off these modern-day criminals. Below, we outline some of them.
Higher risk of insider threats
The increased reliance on a remote workforce leaves openings in the hiring process that criminals won’t hesitate to exploit. With recruiters relying on videoconferencing to assess applicants, it’s entirely possible to hire someone with a fake identity, whose goal may be to gain access to privileged information and intellectual property from your company. Once they’ve gotten hold of your data, they’re free to sell it off to competitors as they please. It’s vital, then, to be vigilant against individuals who might turn corporate espionage into a business during this pandemic.
Pressure on FinTech services
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has emphasized the role of financial technology companies in stabilizing the economy by keeping the world’s financial infrastructure up and running. However, when a sector handles such delicate and valuable assets like money, it becomes a prime target for criminal activity. FinTech companies will need to invest in more stringent measures to protect both themselves and their clients.
To facilitate this, the WEF has also released recommendations for a baseline level of cybersecurity controls that FinTech companies can consult. This ensures that there are standardized tiers of cybersecurity measures across all FinTech companies.
Better hardware protection
Networks and routers (especially at home) can be easily compromised due to their structure. The modern PCBs of our devices are made out of wires, pins, and net ties that are contained in one central system. Hackers only need to get into this system to gain full access to the entire network the hardware is connected to.
As such, it’s important to secure and encrypt networks to add another layer of security for employees working at home. Moreover, train them to always be careful when browsing unprotected sites, as these can unknowingly lead to viruses and malware simply by clicking the wrong link.
Higher demand for cybersecurity professionals
Trained cybersecurity workers were already in shortage even before the pandemic hit. With much of the world’s activities moving to online spaces, this gap in skilled professionals is even more acutely felt now.
According to the nonprofit organization, The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC), the global shortfall of cybersecurity professionals reached around 4 million in 2019. Because of this, skills such as Cloud Security and Application Development Security are projected to balloon in 2021.
The rise of 5G
5G is the latest generation of mobile networks, and one of the many innovations the world is eagerly waiting for. As this new technology continues to roll out, it promises to deliver high speeds, negligible latencies, and a unified digital experience for everyone.
But this increased connectivity is a double-edged sword that could open up new vulnerabilities in our shared virtual space. For one, there are less security checkpoints in a 5G network because it relies more heavily on distributed digital routing compared to 4G. The expansion of bandwidth also creates more avenues for hackers to break into. These threats reinforce the need to build a solid foundation of cybersecurity for 5G before we fully adopt it.
The internet has undoubtedly helped make our lives more convenient, but it has also exposed us to multiple technological risks. As such, it’s imperative that we stay abreast of trends in cybersecurity to ward off would-be cyber attackers.