The pandemic has certainly affected each sphere of human lives, including their businesses. Remote offices and consistent use of technology have improved the way business is done, but we should not forget the dark side of it.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of businesses have moved to the online environment. It has facilitated most of the job-related tasks, reduced the risk of getting sick, and allowed employees to work from any place they want. All these advantages have impacted the overall business structure, which remains even today when the pandemic days are almost over.
However, the digital world is full of perils that can cause severe issues that cannot be easily resolved. Namely, online businesses have started facing consequences due to the increased number of cyber threats, including phishing, malware, ransomware, and similar.
Cyber threats are an ongoing issue that requires your constant attention. And if you’re not familiar with the severity and consequences of such problems, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll present you with the 5 most popular cyber threats that arose during the pandemic and help you recognize them.
Cyber Threats During Pandemic
Phishing is still one of the most superior cyber-attacks that target companies or individuals associated with a certain organization. Phishing is often deployed through emails, which is used to trick users into revealing their sensitive information to unreliable third parties (hackers).
Phishing emails often look realistic, which makes it difficult for victims to determine whether the message is authentic or not. Such cyber threats aim to hook the victims into clicking the malicious link delivered in an email or downloading the attached file. If the user follows the hacker’s instructions, their financial information might be compromised or might become a victim of identity theft.
Although the art of phishing has significantly progressed, it is still possible to recognize it and avoid it. Such emails often contain typos and misspelled words, and the sender’s email address usually has strange characters. So, if you are unsure whether you received an email from your boss or a curious hacker, double-check the above-mentioned signs. Or call your boss directly to see if everything is under control.
The goal of ransomware is to lock and encrypt all your essential files. And if you want them back (and you sure do), you need to pay a ransom to hackers who got into your system and infected it. As you may assume, paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive what you paid for.
Ransomware is one of the most complex cyber-attacks that’s affected many systems during the pandemic. It can get into your computer in different ways – you can download and install it, get it due to a phishing attack, inject it via a USB drive, and so on.
During the pandemic, the systems got infected by ransomware due to the lack of adequate cyber protection. Insecure sharing of sensitive files and passwords jeopardized the business flow, resulting in severe consequences that were not easy to resolve. One of the best ways to secure your system against threats like ransomware is through a password manager. This feature-rich tool helps you create strong passwords for your sensitive accounts and lets you share them with your teammates with peace of mind. In a nutshell, it is an affordable way to ensure your safety online and mitigate the most common risks associated with your privacy.
3. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
A distributed denial of service attack, also known as a DDoS attack, acts by sending an endless number of requests to a website at the same time. As a result, the website crashes, and the users are not able to use or access it anymore.
A large number of requests that target a website are often sent by bots called botnets, specifically designed to send requests to servers repeatedly. All the connected devices can be hacked and exploited in this type of attack, which often occurs without the owner’s knowledge.
Unfortunately, DDoS attacks are easy to deploy, especially since they are pretty cheap. This is why they exploded during the pandemic when they affected a broad range of servers and networks. And although it’s cheap to carry out, it can cost affected companies millions of dollars.
4. Zero-Day Attacks
As their name implies, zero-day attacks are threats that target newly discovered software vulnerabilities, for which there is no antivirus or patch developed yet. Those attacks are often implemented through smartphone applications that no longer receive adequate developer support or obsolete applications that are not updated to the latest version.
In order to avoid zero-day attacks, it’s important to update your software regularly and deinstall all the applications you no longer use, but which could be a threat to your system. Such attacks have affected different private and business users, resulting in stolen data, jeopardized safety, and other consequences that prevent businesses from thriving.
5. Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerabilities
The Internet of Things (IoT) is commonly used nowadays, and smart devices have become an integral part of every home. However, these “great” inventions are not always great.
There are many cyber threats associated with the Internet of Things, and they can be especially severe. Namely, the IoT is one of the key providers of data, and its built-in security system is not entirely developed yet. For that reason, those devices allow cyber criminals to enter their systems and manipulate them according to their malicious plans.
IoT attacks have doubled during the pandemic, which is a pretty concerning fact. We can only hope that, in the future, IoT security will become more advanced and will let users enjoy all their features with peace of mind.
Although the pandemic is almost over, cybersecurity threats will never end. They can become more progressive with time, which is why, especially companies, must protect their vital data with the best cybersecurity solutions, learn how to recognize sketchy activity, and manage a crisis situation within a team.
And remember – technology has become an essential part of our lives. Make sure to use it with precaution to get the best out of it.