How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected cyber security?

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The Covid-19 pandemic has had a range of negative knock on impacts across businesses, especially SMB’s. But what kind of influence has this had on cyber security? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. We provide a range of services including secure remote access and cloud and offsite backup solutions. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about cyber security and the pandemic.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected cyber security?

The global pandemic has had a wide ranging impact on cyber security for businesses of all sizes, but this is most noticeable, and problematic, for SMBs. Some of the negative effects have included:

  • Creating security weaknesses and loop-holes
  • Improving scamming and phishing techniques
  • Reducing priority and budgets for cyber security

How has the Covid-19 pandemic created more security weaknesses?

With work life changing dramatically during the pandemic, with some people not working at all, and others working from home, the traditional security safety nets in place for SMB’s were altered. This problem can be two-fold:

  • Connecting external devices to the company network- without the proper security measures in place, this simply broadens the scope, and the opportunity for a cyber attack. With so many external devices, across a much larger geographical area, connected to the same network, any malware will spread quickly. All it takes is one infected computer, or one email link opened in error.
  • Accounts left dormant or idle- if your business was forced to close completely, many of your online business accounts may have been left completely dormant. What this means is that illegal access could have been gained by cyber criminals, who may have infiltrated your network or device without your knowledge. While the usual, regular activity would have noticed and prevented the criminal activity, this may not have happened due to staff being furloughed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has improved scamming and phishing techniques

As if the coronavirus itself wasn’t bad enough, the number of phishing emails and messages has increased dramatically. And not only that, these have improved in quality too. As we navigate through territory we have not yet encountered, emails and messages that look official, and as though they were generated by government or local bodies to provide support and assistance during this time have been developed by cyber criminals. The only way to protect your company from this, and any well-meaning employee who follows the instructions on the email, is to fully train your staff and provide regular reminders and updates as the cyber attacks become increasingly sophisticated.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced priority and budgets for cyber security

In these uncertain times, businesses had to make important decisions, quickly and efficiently. There was not a lot of time to prepare before the national lockdown was announced. And for areas with current local lockdowns, these have been implemented just as suddenly. As a consequence, the need for remote working and continuity became the number one priority, even for companies with IT systems that were never designed with this in mind. This knocked cyber security off the top spot and for many businesses, meant a dramatic cut in the cyber security budget. Not only does this increase the cyber security risks in the long run, as this is not an area where short-cuts can be considered successfully, but it means that the issues being faced right now, with remote working and intelligent phishing cannot be addressed.

To help keep your business safe and secure, in the long run, as well as the short term, why not get in touch with the professionals today, here at Creative Network Solutions Manchester?