Covid-19 has disrupted our lives and caused a lot of stress and panic globally. Even though lockdowns may be relaxing, cyber-attacks are showing no signs of slowing down. The pandemic has created the perfect environment for hacktivists to strike with a high degree of success.
Let’s understand the top five reasons for this:
Millions of workers globally suddenly woke up to the new work-from-home normal. While IT departments scrambled to get their infrastructure ready for a 100% remote workforce — many of them also sacrificed cybersecurity for the sake of business continuity. As employees started to connect to the corporate network from home, they introduced a number of potential security vulnerabilities. Unsecured devices, unsecured Wi-Fi and unpatched systems — suddenly the attack surface expanded exponentially.
As if the confusion and distraction surrounding the pandemic weren’t enough, an infodemic of misinformation and phishing scams are on the rise. Insurance and financial service providers have reported that fraudsters are using the full suite of scamming tools — phishing emails, fraud identities, robocalls, etc. — and are watching the headlines closely and adapting their messages to scam targets. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is estimating that coronavirus scammers may have already made $100 million off stolen stimulus checks, mortgage scams and more.
Amidst high risk and increased reliance on technology platforms, business continuity takes precedence over cybersecurity. Experts warn of even further budget cuts and cybersecurity will be no exception even though the environment demands that the controls be more robust. Since resources are increasingly spread thin, 50% of cybersecurity teams are getting reassigned to general IT tasks.
Gartner reported a 65% increase in demand for cybersecurity professionals worldwide. Another study estimates 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs to remain unfilled by 2021. Organizations lack expertise in areas including cloud security, incident response, threat intelligence, security operations and more. Credible cybersecurity leadership is also hard to find as such professionals are extremely high in demand.
New research suggests that if an organization “feels” it’s too small to get attacked, chances are they will limit their cybersecurity spending. On the flip side, analysts are increasingly seeing lesser-known, smaller companies being targeted by hackers, especially those that are linked to larger, influential companies. Not only do SMBs have desirable data, but they are also easier to attack because they lack the resources. And when SMBs are hacked, high-profile companies that are linked to the SMB also get hacked. This demonstrates that cybersecurity is a major problem for all size businesses.
Times are challenging, and it’s time to get creative. Organizations must find a way to respond to modern cyber-threats without stretching their financial resources or investing in inadequate security expertise. A virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) could deliver more bang for your buck. Here’s why:
What are the benefits of hiring a full-time CISO? Truth is, it depends on the requirements of the business and the resources at hand. Here are some reasons why a full-time CISO might be your preference instead of bringing in a virtual CISO — if an interim role isn’t required:
Cyber attackers are continuously evolving their tactics and techniques to get to your company’s crown jewels. Businesses need cybersecurity leadership that can take out the guesswork, boost defenses and bolster cyber resilience. In times of the pandemic and beyond, a vCISO becomes an extremely pragmatic and compelling value proposition, but only if it works for your unique business needs.