The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions on movement saw many businesses going digital all over the world. While the e-commerce market boomed due to increased online shopping behavior, cybercriminals also took advantage of the increased internet usage to attack more frequently. To succeed in their endeavors, they resorted to the use of COVID-19-related information to lure unsuspecting internet users into clicking on links and logging into malicious websites. For this reason, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to internet users to stay vigilant and avoid falling for COVID-19 scams, as published in the HIPAA Journal.

Here’s a look at how the ongoing pandemic has impacted cybersecurity in the U.S.

The Nature of Cyberattacks Has Changed

With more internet users becoming vigilant, threat actors are increasingly developing more sophisticated cyberattack techniques. For instance, incidents of phishing via text messages and voice calls have spiked. Additionally, attackers are now using fake information, such as the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, to increase their chances of success. Cybercriminals are now combining ransomware attacks with data leakage blackmails to persuade their victims to pay.

Increased Cyberattacks

To curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the federal government imposed lockdown measures that led to many people working from home. The bad news is that cyber criminals were also at work, and the increased usage of the internet gave them ample opportunity to launch new attacks. This led to a surge in data breaches, with at least 155 million Americans falling victim to exposed records in 2020 alone, as reported by Statista.

While you incorporate remote working in your future business operations, make sure to secure your network and train your employees on how to prevent cyber attacks.

Increased Data Breaches through Video Conferencing

Being the only safe way to hold meetings and interact, video conferencing has gained massive popularity during the pandemic. While it is a savior for most businesses, videoconferencing has created an opportunity for cybercriminals to attack and steal data. For instance, cybercriminals have stolen private information from videoconferencing software such as Zoom and sold iton the black market, as reported by Forbes Media. With this in mind, experts recommend taking steps to protect employees’ information by securing your network system.

Reduced Cybersecurity

Due to the pandemic-induced recession, many businesses closed down. At the same time, those that remained open struggled to survive due to decreased demand for products. This is because many people lost their jobs, which caused a decrease in their purchasing power. With the adoption of remote working, businesses are seeing an increased need to spend more money on building a remote, yet safe, working network. Unfortunately, the current recession means that businesses could be limited financially in their efforts to build sophisticated networks with strong firewalls. However, even with a relatively small budget, you can take steps to boost your business’s cyber resilience, such as offering cybersecurity training to your staff.

These are some of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the cybersecurity of businesses in the U.S. While increasing your cyber resilience is crucial, you should also consider having the right cyber insurance coverage to best protect your business network systems. To find the right cybersecurity coverage for your needs, talk to the team at Tompkins Insurance Agencies today. We look forward to helping you find the right options for your insurance needs.