Illustration of woman working from home apprehensively looking at a computer screen

How Has Covid-19 Changed Cyber Attacks?

The global pandemic has changed a lot about the way that things operate. As humans, it is easy to notice the large changes to our day to day lives, but it is more difficult for us to notice the long term trends and movements that make up these patterns. One of these emerging patterns is that ever since the first lockdowns began, there have been more and more cyber attacks. The reasons that this is happening is multitude, and the ways in which people are more vulnerable and more likely to be successful are multitude as well. To understand the steps you need to take to take care of a problem such as this, you need to understand its nature, what is currently being done, and what has changed.

Why Cyber Attacks are On the Rise

An Increase in Skilled People Without Work

Why have hackers started attacking more? Part of it is simply that there are more skilled people without work, meaning a larger pool of potential hackers with the skills that can allow them to be successful. As businesses are already dealing with so much, most people simply do not have the time to worry about cyber security if they do not have a full stack team in place to deal with it for them.

An Increase in Hospital Workload

To make matters worse, more and more hospitals specifically are being targeted. Because they are dealing with such an increased workload, most of them tend to not have the time to focus on other areas of the business like cyber security. That opens up a door for hackers to exploit non-maintained systems.

An Increase in Remote Work

Another major source of infections is the fact that the workforce has gone from working at in-office computers—which at least offered some form of protection on the server—to personal devices that are much more likely to become infected. Even if remote workers are now using work laptops at home, that still means they are using their personal network and personal devices connected to it. For some of these hacks, the attacker will simply hack as often as they feel they can be successful, meaning more opportunity leads to more attempts.

An Increase in Online Communication

Similarly, since more and more communication is happening online and not in person, people are falling victim to more phishing attempts and spoofing hacks. These are when someone pretends to be someone they are not. The fact that people are using social media more on their devices opens them up to social media phishing attacks. 

Improvements in Tools for Attack

Finally, technology has simply gotten better. There are more AI tools than ever, ransomware is up more than ever and the things that viruses can now do is expanding beyond what traditional basic antivirus can actually handle. AI is now not only defending, but attacking and constantly running penetration tests to seek out any weaknesses in a given system. When it finds one,it exploits it and takes advantage of anything it can. 

What You Can Do About It

To counter all of this, you need a company to provide training for employees and teach them to spot scams. As well, you need someone who can monitor each end point and make sure that no one using a work laptop that is infected can then infect the main server and gain access to your business and its data. A full-stack managed service provider (MSP) like tekRESCUE can do all of this and more for your business. Consider working with an MSP if your organization does not have its own internal IT staff—your valuable data deserves the protection now more than ever.

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