The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a massive shift to working from home protocols. Companies globally have their employees working remotely possibly for the first time ever. There are currently BILLIONS of people now working remotely, many of them doing so for the first time in their lives.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, most companies had never attempted a work from home scenario. In fact, a majority of organizations did not have a plan in place for if the entire company was forced to work remotely. This means there is an extreme lack of preparedness for the COVID-19 non-essential business mandates and the work from home policies they inspire.
Now we have an extremely unsafe and volatile environment in terms of cybersecurity. Hackers are already exploiting the opportunity to attack unprepared businesses with more than 2,600 detected threats a day according to Check Point Research.
Check Point, together with Dimensional Research, recently surveyed 411 IT and security professionals, all from organizations of 500 or more employees globally and from a range of industries.
“The results are sobering. 71% of security professionals have noticed an increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak,” the report stated.
Phishing (55%), of course, came out on top as the leading Coronavirus-based threat, followed by malicious websites that claim to give advice or whacky remedies for COVID-19 (32%). Increases in malware (28%) and ransomware attacks (19%) were also noticed.
Security Professionals are concerned to say the least. According to the CheckPoint report, 61% of them said there was a need for rapid adjustments to the changing circumstances. Concerns about remote access security and scaling up security remotely were voiced loudest.
Although it is not surprising at all that hackers are taking advantage of the global pandemic —phishing threat reports are always highest when there is some natural disaster happening— we have never before had such an unsafe environment to protect.
A few of the most popular malicious acts have been:
- Remote User Credential Theft: This one affects the work from home policy most directly as it has to do with attackers taking the opportunity of a mass amount of remote connections happening to easily conceal malicious logins without being detected by their target’s security team.
- Phishing Emails with Malware: As mentioned above, phishing emails are one of the most prevalent threats when working from home because working off a personal computer can be significantly less safe than one and the office that has the organizations cybersecurity software.
- Malicious Websites: Websites with Coronavirus or COVID-19 in the url or title are being reported as malicious left and right. Everyone should be wary of taking any advice from these sites or clicking on any links as they too may have malware.
- Zero-Day-Attacks: Although the threat of a Zero-Day-Attack is always looming, and companies should be prepared regardless, with COVID-19 demanding the focus of security professionals on remote logins, hackers have no better time than the present to launch an obliterative attack to steal companies’ data.
It is absolutely critical for enterprises to act now and arm themselves with a cybersecurity architecture capable of preventing a serious breach.
Due to the challenges security teams are now facing with managing the entire company’s network remotely, an AI cybersecurity system capable of monitoring the entire network and alerting teams to any odd behavior would dramatically improve work-flow.
But not all AI systems are capable of doing so. Most of the AI available in cybersecurity right now is Supervised Learning trained, meaning it relies on the process of labeling malicious events in order to catch future threats. This would take far too much time in the current state of things.
We recommend that companies turn to help from a Generative Unsupervised Learning based system like MixMode’s proprietary AI platform. This can save security teams incredible amounts of time and save the enterprise millions of dollars by protecting them from a devastating Zero-Day-Attack.
For example, MixMode’s AI will analyze a network for seven days and learn the daily patterns and habits of persons on the network. Then, the AI creates a baseline of what the network should look like at any moment in the future. That way, if a malicious actor shows up, it will be flagged and reported regardless of whether that type of threat has ever been detected before. No labeling required and a huge amount of time saved.
This is a critical moment in history for business leaders to adapt to the changing circumstances and progress into the future.
Right now we do not know how long this will last, or even whether things will ever go entirely back to normal, so it is best to act now and protect businesses in the best way possible while the hackers run rampant trying to infiltrate them.