Unless you were on a long desert meditation trip like Jared Leto, it is impossible not to have heard about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic sweeping through the globe. At the time of writing this blog, there have been over half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in over 200 countries worldwide. At this point the pandemic is truly a global event of epic proportions, hopefully the last event of its kind we will see in our lifetimes.
We’ve all heard about the ways we can protect ourselves and our loved ones against this outbreak: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing, etc. The risks of this virus outbreak are real and all of us have to play a role in slowing, and eventually stopping, its propagation.
However, we also have to realize that, in the tech world – which by extension is the real world these days since everything and everyone is connected – you have to be as cautious as you have to be in real life.
What this means is that, since the start of the global outbreak, we have seen a spike in cyber attacks in this period of uncertainty and therefore we must be extra vigilant. At the same time, since almost everyone is working from home these days, the organizations they work for are facing new challenges as multiple new attack vectors are being introduced into their networks. Since the start of the pandemic in late 2019, we have seen different attacks, ranging from attackers targeting the World Health Organization (WHO) to steal information to mass phishing email and spam campaigns targeting remote workers. We have even seen cases where cybercriminals are launching websites with domain names related to Coronavirus and COVID-19, exploiting people’s curiosity or worry to eventually launch ransomware attacks.
When it comes to cyber security, just like public health, prevention can be better than the cure. We are providing you with some common guidelines and security best practices that, when followed, can give you a better chance of fighting the people who are trying to capitalize on the chaos of this pandemic.
Finally, as the Zero Trust model recommends, practice the principle of “trust nobody” and make sure that no user has access to data that they don’t depend on for their day-to-day functions. Restrict access as much as possible, ensure that you have visibility into all your users, traffic, data and workloads, and that you have uniform security policies applied across all locations to make sure no security loopholes exist.
Just like a simple bar of soap can help protect you against the COVID-19, taking simple, common-sense security measures can help protect us all against the cyber criminals exploiting the chaos.
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