It is undeniable that COVID-19 is one of the notable crises in human welfare in recent history. The pandemic will likely go down as the most severe public health disaster in a century. The COVID-19 pandemic has both tested our will and exposed our social fragility. As the world soon enters our second year of battling the fallout associated with the pandemic many find it difficult to project what the future portends on an individual basis.
One aspect of our lifestyles that appears to have emerged during the crises is an increasing dependency on technology. The epidemic has at least temporarily altered our social way of life keeping many of us bound to our houses to a greater degree, as we socially distance and avoid physical interaction to lessen the spread of the virus. Spending more time at home has also increased our use of cyber technology which appears to be fully into our lifestyles.
Amidst the pandemic when the usage of cyber technology is increasing, so is the threat of cybercriminals and hacking groups looking to take advantage of the worldwide chaos. Unfortunately, the use of phishing emails, identity theft, hacking, adware and scam, Trojan horses, viruses, bots, and the like continue to harass victims at an increased pace.
Security teams everywhere face the challenge of the ever-evolving cyber threats that disrupt businesses and personal lives. A few major trends to watch during 2021 include:
- Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”) expanded role in business
CISOs are the executives responsible for an organization’s information and data security. Business concerns of all size are exposed to increasing cyber related disruption and crimes. Due to increasing cyber risk, CISOs have experienced a more prominent and expanded role in risk mitigation within organizations.
- More advanced Ransomware to deal with
Cybercriminals and sophisticated hacking groups have utilized the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of individuals and businesses at an alarming rate utilizing increasingly advanced ransom ware. Business, academic institutions, energy and utilities, healthcare institutions, and even the government are heavily susceptible to these attacks. Since organizations cannot easily go off-line due to their operating nature, cybercriminals can attack at all hours to exploit potential victims and illegally steal resources.
- Skyrocketing demands for security talent
As corporations increase their investments in data management resources and expertise, the demand for enterprises to digitally evolve has escalated. Accompanying this escalation are specialized skill sets required to provide cyber security. The cybersecurity market desperately needs new talent, all of which entails specialized education and training. Finding and securing talent to address the dangers looming in cyberspace has become problematic.
In summary, the while the pandemic may have accelerated the use and acceptance of cyber technology, it has also accelerated the opportunity for bad cyber actors. Hence, we not only need to be diligent to do our part to lessen the spread potential of COVID-19, we also need to be vigilant to fend off the risk of cybercrime during these unique times.