COVID-19 Impacts Cybersecurity — Why You Should Prioritize Security At Your Business

As companies worldwide were forced to transition due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so too did security hackers. With the sudden increase in remote work, cybersecurity risks have heightened. Data shows that in the first 100 days of the pandemic, spam and opportunistic detecting increased by 26.3%, impersonations were up by 30.3%, malware by 35.16% and blocking of URL clicks by 55%. From January – March, the overall detection of cybercriminal activity was up by a third. As risks become more heightened as some employers continue to work from home while others migrate back to the office, having cyber insurance might be the best move for your company when dealing with data breaches, ransomware incidents and other attacks.

However, in addition to increased risks, the COVID-19 outbreak has also forced many companies to make budget cuts. And what might be most concerning is that companies frequently look to cybersecurity costs as the first place to cut funding. One of the toughest questions business owners have to face right now is how to balance cybersecurity needs with overall decreased budgets.

Stricter Cyber Insurers

As countries’ numbers of reported COVID-19 cases grew, cybercriminals matched their scams to target the hot spots worldwide. From e-commerce to manufacturing facilities, this pandemic tested multiple industries’ cyber hygiene practices.

With work-from-home processes practically implemented overnight, the new “normal” also meant more home networks and personal wifi being used to access business data. Companies had to rely on VPNs or other encryption services to secure data-in-transit. With our work atmosphere likely to change again, you can expect cyberattacks will as well.

In addition to companies not having control over home environments, businesses needed to spend more on dedicated cyber insurance policies. According to data from Fitch Ratings, the number of companies who had cyber insurance policies rose from 34% in 2018 to 47% in 2019.

However, cyber insurance companies often implemented stricter policies during this time. Due to the increased risk of an attack during COVID-19, insurance companies now require certain procedures to be in place at a company, including:

  • Properly secured remote access
  • Email servers properly built to guard against phishing attacks
  • A policyholders’ business continuity plan that has been updated to take into account remote-working situations
  • Working with third-party companies that access cyber risk along with undertaking technical work in-house
  • Scanning prospective customers’ networks for vulnerabilities

Despite these recent intensified rules, a cyber insurance company can help protect a business if a cyberattack does happen. However, these security policies do cost money. With companies furloughing employees and some barely making it by, why should companies pay for cybersecurity?

Budget Cuts

Despite greater economic stress, we are seeing businesses continue to fund projects that help employees work from home such as VPNs, multi-factor authentication and tools to secure connections to corporate applications. Between January and March, companies around the world spent $31 billion on cloud computing services, which was a 34% increase from the same time period in 2019. What we are not seeing are large-scale cybersecurity projects, as business leaders are often focused on keeping business operations running with a remote workforce.

If your company is experiencing budget cuts, think twice before you cut your security protection. Rather than cut those programs entirely, look to see where you can potentially lower the cost of your security services. What businesses don’t know is that there are many security tools in your data system that are just acting as shiny objects and are not doing much to protect your business data. These are the tools that you can cut, allowing the tools that are benefiting your business to be a priority.

MDL Technology Is Here To Help

Being a cognizant cybercitizen means protecting company data and preventing attacks. Whether your employees are working from home or at the office, systems are continuing to get hit with ransomware every 40 seconds. Having security measures and a disaster recovery plan in place is necessary.

Your company’s security is our top priority. We offer services such as 24/7 support, network monitoring, offsite data backups, auditing and compliance and more to help ensure that you don’t need to stress about your team’s private information becoming public.

Learn more about the services we offer by visiting our website.

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