Securing the Pandemic Disrupted Workplace

2020 has proven, in many ways, that the cybersecurity industry does not exist in a static bubble; rather it shifts and changes in accordance with and in response to the events of the world around it. Make calculated adjustments to your security strategy by taking a look at the trends we’ve seen over the first half of 2020 and what you can expect from this new normal.

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Cybersecurity Landscape

For many people, working from home became not just an option, but a necessity, as the pandemic forced organizations around the world to reconsider how and where they work.

Now, businesses need to determine whether to make remote working a permanent choice. Moving to the cloud makes sense in these times, but cloud-based storage, services, and applications are not airtight. They should be thought of as an extension of the existing attack surface. You need to be prepared to secure your evolving corporate attack surface, because cybercriminals have proven they will not be hindered by the global pandemic.

In fact, Trend Micro blocked 8.8 million Covid-19-related threats in the first half of 2020, with the peak months being April and May. Email made up 91.5% of all Covid-19 related threats, with spam emails being a primary tool for cybercriminals attempting to take advantage of fear driven by the pandemic. Moreover, the U.S. saw the highest percentage of Covid-19 threats compared to any other country, at 38.4%.

Threat Actors Continue to Launch Campaigns

Our security predictions for 2020 forecasted that critical public infrastructure and government IT systems would be a primary focus for extortionists, with ransomware being their preferred weapon of choice. Sure enough, we saw that government-related organizations and businesses were the most highly targeted industry for ransomware operators, continuing the trend we observed in 2019. Healthcare and manufacturing were the second and third most targeted industries, respectively. Other sectors that showed a relatively high number of attack attempts included finance, education, technology, oil and gas, insurance, and banking.

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