Here Are 7 Ways to Strengthen Cybersecurity in A Post-Pandemic World
The world changed dramatically after the COVID-19 pandemic struck. One of the most affected industries was tech, with cyberattack incidences shooting through the roof. According to reports, 2021 was one of the most challenging periods in cybersecurity.
During this period, 96% of businesses reported falling victim to a cyberattack. In addition, 75% of companies were victims of ransomware attacks, with 64% compelled to pay the ransom. But that didn’t help their situation at all.
Most attackers went ahead to steal and destroy the data even after receiving the ransom, the report showing only 40% of the ransomware victims got their data back.
The most potent effects of the pandemic are now dying down with businesses normalizing operations. But are we still safe?
There’s still a need to secure our cyberspace in the post-pandemic world. Some ways to do this include understanding the new cybersecurity risks, regularly training employees, updating cybersecurity systems, and backing up company data.
Let’s dive further into this.
The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Post-Pandemic
Cyber attackers may have changed their schemes, but how they deliver their attacks has remained the same. Here are the biggest cybersecurity threats facing organizations post-pandemic:
Phishing is the most damaging and widespread cyberattack facing businesses. Statistics show that phishing attacks account for 90% of organizations’ data breaches. These attacks also account for over $12 billion in annual losses.
An attacker orchestrates a phishing attack by pretending to be a known or trusted party and enticing you to click a malicious link, download a malicious file, or give them access to sensitive information such as account credentials or details such as usernames and passwords.
Ransomware is one of the most damaging cyber-attacks on an organization. It’s a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s computer or computer systems, restricting their access to the computer files and programs. The victim can only regain access after paying ransom to the attacker.
Attackers behind ransomware hardly guarantee they’ll give you access to your systems after you’ve paid the ransom. As a result, most businesses still lose their data and access to their systems.
Ransomware typically spreads via malicious downloads in emails such as PDFs.
Data breaches occur when an unauthorized party gains access to your computer systems and steals data stored in the network. This information can be personal data such as employee addresses, contact information, and social security numbers or financial information such as account names and login details.
Malware is malicious software designed to cause havoc to your computer or computer network. Malware can be trojans, spyware, worms, viruses, ransomware, or adware.
Malware is spread by downloading suspicious attachments or files via email or unknown sources or clicking a pop-up ad.
How to Strengthen Cybersecurity Post-Pandemic
Several strategies can be used to strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity with emerging threats post-pandemic. They include:
1. Harden Security from the Points Where Employees Working Remotely Connect From
Remote work is the product of the pandemic. Even as curfews and social restrictions get lifted, most organizations and businesses have adopted the new norm of working from home. However, according to reports, 70% of breaches start from endpoint devices. These include workstations, laptops, mobile devices, and servers.
Therefore, you should invest more in endpoint security to keep attackers exploiting these vulnerabilities at bay, especially for devices running on-premise or connecting to the cloud.
2. Create Cybersecurity Awareness
Employees are one of the most significant access points for attackers into an organization’s computer system or networks. Therefore, you should train your employees regularly on proper cybersecurity practices, such as not opening untrusted emails, not clicking on suspicious links, or downloading random files from the internet.
This way, they’ll be able to recognize and avoid modern phishing scams that are more complicated and informed by clever social engineering.
3. Limit Access to Data
Restricting data access can improve an organization’s cybersecurity by reducing data exposure to malicious actors. However, organizations should implement strict data access limits based on employee roles or other factors.
Therefore, if one of the employees falls victim to an attack, you’re sure they’ll only affect a minimal portion of the system.
4. Use Data Encryption Throughout
Data stored in your computer systems or sent online should always be encrypted. Encryption turns the data into an incomprehensible format that the attacker cannot understand. Therefore, data encryption prevents data theft and tampering.
You can find network encryption settings on your router. In addition, a virtual private network (VPN) can offer similar services if you use a public network.
5. Identify the Weak Spots in Your Network
Unpatched systems and software are sitting ducks for cybercriminals. But, unfortunately, they’re also one of many weak spots your computer system or network might have.
Managed security providers and network security consultancy firms can perform internal and external scans of your servers, network devices, databases, applications, and other connected systems to identify vulnerabilities and suggest patches for them.
This can be done on-premise or in the cloud.
6. Use Secure Collaboration Tools
Collaboration tools such as video conferencing have become increasingly popular with the advent of remote work. As remote work stays in the post-pandemic world and cybercriminals get more innovative and creative, investing in more secure collaboration tools is paramount.
The best way to ensure the entire team uses the same tools is by instructing all remote employees to use the tools the security team recommends as more secure. That way, you’ll avoid team members downloading insecure software that can open a gateway for cyberattacks.
7. Backup Your Data
Automatically backing up corporate data will help you recover swiftly from cyberattacks. Best Practice is to use online and offline backup tools for maximum redundancy, reducing the risk of losing data in case of a data breach, ransomware attack, or any other cyberattack.
You should also always make sure that the backups are working.
Get the Help of Cybersecurity Professionals for Greater Protection
You can do a lot as an individual or small team of stakeholders to protect your business or organization from cyberattacks. However, cybercriminals move very fast.
To stay safe, contact a professional cybersecurity team to take care of all your security needs post-pandemic.