Post Covid-19: Emerging Cyber-threats Every Organization Must Watch Out For

covid-19 cybersecurity remote

By now it’s not exactly breaking news that COVID-19 has heavily increased cyberattacks. However, what seems to be somewhat more dramatic is the worryingly low number of organizations that care about safe Cybersecurity practices. With a generalized economic crisis arguably already on our doorstep, organizations must take all the necessary measures to stay running and secure collaborators until the economy reaches a new normal. 

Most organizations still think that cyber-attacks are not a situation they’ll necessarily face. The lack of commitment to Cybersecurity hygiene translates into seriously alarming data, as nearly more than 40% of organizations don’t have the necessary tools to address inevitable attacks. This posture is usually justified by pointing out the costs involved in a Cybersecurity service; however, as hackers find new ways to attack more organizations through increasingly sophisticated methods, having a Cybersecurity team is of utmost importance now more than ever. Organizations need to see a Cybersecurity team as an investment that in the long run will help you secure collaborators engaged with your project and possibly your entire organization. 

Common words in the Cybersecurity world such as “phishing” or “malware” have become more popular over the years due to the increase in attacks, but do you really know how they can permanently damage your organization? We’ve all heard the buzzwords, but do you actually understand what they mean? 

Let’s start with one of the most dangerous and effective ways to get attacked: phishing. It basically consists of using a reliable organization’s identity to trick you into clicking in a malicious link or login to a fake portal where the cybercriminal hijacks your identity. A phishing attack can leave devastating consequences for your organization such as unauthorized financial transactions, access to sensitive files, and credential theft. Mostly everyone has been a target of this kind of attack. Just take a moment to remember the last time you received an email from a strange sender or e-mail address. It was probably somewhat recently right? Well, what if last time you remember wasn’t really the last time you received one? Then what…?  

Nowadays, it’s more common for phishing attacks to come with links to malware programs that can damage and hijack your files. Since the rise of Bitcoin, a type of malware called “ransomware” has become more popular among hackers. This malware hijacks all your files and to get them back, hackers ask for Bitcoin in return. Depending on the files that were hijacked, negotiating them back and eventually paying for them often turns out to be the cheapest method to deal with the situation. Ransomware victims usually are well-known organizations and fast-growing nonprofits. However, as hackers update their tactics, no one is safe from this type of attack. Let’s remember when Save the Children, a relevant British nonprofit, was hit by a phishing scam that resulted in the loss of nearly $1M less than two years ago. In this attack, the hacker got access to one of the nonprofit’s emails after sending invoices and documents that seemed accurate.  

Finally, computer worms. This type of malicious software once opened in a computer gets spread through your network and infects other computers in your ecosystem. Once a computer gets infected, it’s a matter of minutes until all the computers of your organization become damaged. The effect of worms is noticeable from the very beginning. Files getting modified, devices turning on and off, and computers freezing are some of the symptoms of worms.  

What happens if your organization manages to survive a cyber attack? 

Even if you manage to get through an attack, your reputation as a reliable source, data controller, and sense of commitment with collaborators will inevitably be seriously tarnished. Collaborators will now see you as an unstable option and could stop helping your project. The loss in current and future aid can be devastating, leading your organization to eventual failure. Your organization should always have a dedicated cybersecurity team ready to assist you at any time.  

Does your organization have a cybersecurity resource? Has your organization ever suffered a cyber-attack? What would you do if that happened? 

If you want to discuss your cybersecurity with an expert – give us a call. We’re here for you, so you can continue to be around for others.