COVID-19 triggered a global cyber pandemic. The past year will be remembered not only because of the health crisis but also how that crisis endangered our digital lives.
Security incidents exploded and cyberattacks increased across all industries, with the FBI Cyber Division reporting a 400% increase in daily cybercrime complaints during COVID-19 compared to the previous year – up to 4,000 a day. The urgency to ‘be digital’ led to rapid adoption of cloud services and SaaS products to facilitate the growing remote workforce and to provide consumers with options to transact digitally from anywhere.
But securing these applications and transactions did not happen at the same pace. This led to breaches through compromised credentials, unsecure networks, and devices – as identified in the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. Cybercriminals identified and exploited new attack vectors, gaining access to networks, social media accounts, and multiple other systems and applications. Ransomware took off, with the Bitdefender Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 highlighting a sevenfold increase in these types of attacks. As a result, many organizations incurred significant financial losses due to attacks that threatened to encrypt and destroy enterprise and government data unless ransom was paid. Other organizations suffered data breaches and incurred the monetary and brand impact costs associated with that – estimated to be an average of $3.36 million according to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020.
Cybersecurity leaders, who were so sure about their enterprise’s security posture before, were caught on the back foot and left helpless to tackle this resurgent war with cybercriminals. This was further impacted by a shortage of skilled staff, with an estimated 4 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs (according to Netsparker).
As a cybersecurity enterprise, we thought of pulling together this startling information in an informative infographic: How cybercriminals took advantage of COVID-19. Combining the data from a variety of reports and sources throughout 2020, it reveals the growing world of cyberattacks. It may look like this is happening in an alternate universe but mind you – this is very much real. As a parting note, we sincerely believe that Entrust Identity can help you navigate through these rising security concerns and seamlessly transition to a new security paradigm.