Digital Transformation And Cybersecurity During Covid-19
Digital Transformation – This is beyond working from home.
The proliferation in working from home has brought new security challenges to the forefront that include attacks on not just businesses, but also government records, celebrities and coronavirus vaccine development data. In the healthcare industry alone, cyberattacks have increased by 150% within the last few months.
Phishing attacks have seen a makeover ever since the beginning of the pandemic, now becoming sophisticated enough to target customer trust by impersonating official links on tech platforms like Skype, Zoom and Google Meet. This phishing threat is so huge that Google’s Threat Analysis Group blocked 18 million Covid-19-themed malware and phishing emails per day in April 2020.
But why specifically now, when we’re already grappling with uncertainty, fear, loss, confusion and vulnerability? There are two ways to answer this question: the obvious factor of digital transformation and priority issues.
Digital Transformation: Is It In A Fix?
Cybercrime has metamorphosed according to the new digital transformation trend. KPMG lists six kinds of threats in the cyberspace that businesses should be aware of:
1. CEO fraud. An increasing number of people are posing as fake C-suite executives (person/brand/company impersonation) looking for an opportunity to transfer corporate funds to other bank accounts.
2. Insecure connections to the workplace. An insecure remote connectivity to company data along with improper authentication access and unsafe cloud configurations.
3. Personal use of company-issued devices.
4. Insider threats. Employees with financial troubles being lured into leaking corporate data.
5. Confidentiality. Your employees’ loyalty is being tested by the day.
6. Phishing related to Covid-19.
These are traditional cybersecurity issues that companies have been working on for years. Other niche areas of cybercrime include targeted attacks on children through access to gaming and online accounts, fake e-commerce platforms offering undisturbed supplies during lockdown, fake news apps/sites and lucrative work-from-home income scams. I haven’t even begun listing out the high-profile cases such as the Scattered Canary, Excel phishing and the EasyJet scandal, among a host of others.
These developments make some legacy businesses doubt the positive potential of digital transformation — apart from also causing many to underinvest. This leads to a gradual “shut-shop” scenario in most cases. While digital transformation is slowly being welcomed into the corporate world, the apprehension regarding the security haunts many.
An investment in security and privacy, although an added burden on scarce resources, has become crucial, if not mandatory. With behavioral sciences indicating that consumers prefer brands that are foolproof and socially responsible regarding data security, larger issues around business and sales have also come to question.
Many people are increasingly focusing on the present rather than the future. People are seemingly becoming more aware of the uncertainty of the human condition. This means that with employees justifiably focusing on their families, health and current finances, data security is not on the top of the list. This is leading to a play with human emotion and mind, resulting in massive digressions in the cyber world.
To reduce cybercrimes during the pandemic, invest in the six “infinity stones.”
Cloud: With multiple advantages such as distributed workforce management and cost benefits, adoption of cloud as a part of digital transformation has changed the game for many small enterprises.
However, despite its advantages, there remains a gap between the user and knowledge. Blind faith in new technology can cause major damage to industries in this sector. A focus on investing in cloud-agnostic solutions that secure data is imperative. This is the first step in refining a cybersecurity operating system.
AI and ML: These industries are the richest investment bases, even during pandemics. Billions of dollars are spent in comprehending big data and making it usable for all industries today. AI and ML can contribute effectively to both threat intelligence and intrusion detection.
However, “humans corrupt humans,” and these technologies, if not developed with a deep understanding of AI-human interface, can lead to cybercrimes that cause enormous damage. As of now, only hackers and cybercriminals have used automation to their advantage for executing major cyberattacks.
Human element: The first concern in this space is the lack of cybersecurity professionals harnessed with the right skill set to deal with cybercrimes. The second concern is the complacency regarding “to err is to human.”
While most organizations might want to blame ill-informed customers for becoming targets of cyberattacks, few realize that proper training and awareness programs are their responsibilities to shoulder. A lack of cyber education can also result in misconceptions within the companies about the rightful use of security programs because there is no culture to promote them in the first place.
Phishing: According to Verizon’s DBIR report, phishing is a hacker’s preferred mode. Given the current scenario where we are the most vulnerable, attackers have used psychology to lure us into mind games. This again calls for awareness programs, not just for employees but for the general public as well. Without proper education about the world of cyberattacks, they’ll continue in all forms.
Innovation: As far as the sixth infinity stone is concerned, innovation in security should be the leading contestant. As much as innovation in data, AI and ML is happening, focus should also be laid on cybersecurity. It is not only the supporting figure of a business, but also a marker of its value in the market.
As long as security is treated along the sidelines in a company’s core principles, there will always be a threat to its functioning mechanism through cyberattacks. If investments are made in cybersecurity in order to keep pace with the speed and urgency of digital transformation, a new kind of risk-profiling industry can expect to take shape that could change data security forever.
This article originally appeared on forbes.com To read the full article and see the images, click here.
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