The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many different ways, and it is pretty likely that even after it ends, they will never be the same. We automatically feel like something is not correct when we see a large group of people together. We added the mask to the list of the things to always have with us and the keys, wallet, and phone. It could be said we have become much more dependent on technology, from work to entertainment while in lockdown, to ordering food or other necessities.
Of course, the fact that we are using our electronic devices much more than before also means that now there is much more critical data floating around online and on the devices themselves than before. It could be something as simple as your Netflix account (as it can be resold on the dark web) or something as big as the information about all of the money and finances of an entire company. Still, there can be no doubt that everything is a target for cybercriminals, which means that all of us are in constant danger from their attacks.
As technology progressed and became a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives, cybercriminals found more and more ways to attempt to profit off of that. The pandemic had given them a whole new world of possibilities, especially when it had just started and people were thrown into a situation they were not prepared for.
Millions of daily hoax emails were reported by Google, connected in some way to Covid-19. As 2020 progressed, and most of the people started working from home, the scammers found new ways to attempt to achieve their goals, from impersonating the tools that everyone used like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, all the way to pretending to be CEOs to get into possession of employees’ personal information, such as passwords.
According to a study conducted in Great Britain, only 5% of the people can spot scam emails, which is highly problematic, as, as mentioned already, cybercriminals can pick anyone as their target and cause severe consequences to people personally, but also their companies, or their family and friends (for example, if they get a suspicious message on Viber or Whatsapp and forward it to all of their contacts).
Additionally, people are more vulnerable to scamming methods such as social engineering due to the mental state caused by the pandemic and the preventative measures taken to stop it. People are anxious, and research shows they feel more socially isolated when working from home than in the office. Thus, it is essential to help people recognize scams, phishing emails, viruses, and more. Workshops, courses, and keeping everyone up to date with the newest updates in the cybersecurity world can prevent many troubles, which is much better than having to solve them after they happen.
A primary method used by people dealing with cybersecurity to prevent cyberattacks used to be securing the perimeter. People only used internal devices and programs to work, and therefore the vital information was secured behind thick walls and not accessed by anyone outside. Working from home turned that upside down. Not all the companies were able to provide laptops or similar devices to their employees, and even if they were, simply by being taken home, those devices were at much higher risks of outside threats.
Additionally, companies started using different software than before for the employees to communicate. Many data that would probably never see the light of the day (or the internet) now had to be sent through email or uploaded to online Cloud services. It showed that the previous method was not as ideal as it might have seemed, although it is understandable that no one could have expected the situation we all found ourselves in. This meant, and, of course, still means, that there had to be new security measures put in place and that there everything had to be seen from a completely different angle.
However, it also caused every person to play a more significant part than before to secure the critical information in ways that they might not have ever thought about before. That is undoubtedly one thing that will be useful in the future, pandemic, and work from home being there or not. After all, a person is aware that someone is trying to steal something from them, and knowing how to protect themselves from it and prevent it is a much more difficult target than a person who has no idea what is going on.
Read our previous article; Why is cybersecurity essential for gamers?
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