As discussed in Part 1, cybersecurity experts could not anticipate how COVID-19 would disrupt IT. Unsurprisingly, cybercriminals are exploiting the catastrophe. Microsoft estimates that phishing and social engineering attacks based on the pandemic have risen to 30,000 daily in the United States.
9 out of 10 experts polled say they have witnessed a rise in cyberattacks during the past 12 months. 8 out of 10 believe that cyberattacks are growing in sophistication. Part 2 will cover Cloud & Remote Services Targeted, Internet of Things (IoT) Exposed, and User Device Attacks.
Due to COVID-19, businesses were rapidly forced to use new cloud services, collaboration applications, and remote access solutions. Unfortunately, many companies did not have IT staff with the training and experience to properly implement them. Some opted for lower-cost alternatives rather than work with more expensive, but proven, vendors for budgetary reasons.
Cybercriminals consider cloud storage, containers, and server applications as easy targets because they are not well protected. A single service becoming compromised might lead to numerous organizations down the line being exposed.
An increasing number of companies are adopting IoT devices and applications for capturing data, enhancing customer service, and remotely control and managing infrastructure. Many IoT devices have weak security, and hackers can illicitly access them and their connections. Cybercriminals have hijacked IoT devices for botnets, which can perform Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, data theft, and the emailing of spam.
As an increasing number of employees are working at home, their devices are become a growing attack vector for cybercriminals. Many are utilizing devices that have not been secured by the IT staff of their companies. They often go unpatched, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Some store sensitive company data, making a data breach potentially very costly.
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