Cyber-attacks occur more often than you may think. The global pandemic has played a large part in the increase of cyber-attacks on both businesses and individuals, creating new and difficult challenges every day. This is particularly true for businesses that have adapted to the new lifestyle of working from home. Companies have fast-tracked adaptation of digital technology into their business operations, and this is rising a concern in cybersecurity.
Increase in cybercrime
The ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Centre) received more than 67,500 reports of different cybercrimes in 2020-21. This equates to one every eight minutes, in comparison to the previous year which was one every ten minutes. Cybercriminals considered the pandemic beneficial to their operations, and were able to lure recipients to enter personal information while trying to access Covid-related information and services. On the other hand, unidentified foreign governments targeted the health sector, wanting to access intellectual property and sensitive information about Australia’s response to the pandemic.
Pandemic intensifies cyber-attacks
Cyber threats have indeed intensified due to Covid-19. Employees working from home with limited supervision and fewer technical controls may be tempted to undertake fraud along with any other criminal activities.
Different sized businesses have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach, in contrast to COPE (Corporate Owned Personally Enabled), and BYOD does not guarantee the same level of security as working from an office with work-controlled deviced. Home wi-fi is also much easier to attack.
Ransomware attacks popular
With ransomware attacks, data gathered by cybercriminals in relation to an organization is typically locked up, and then payment demanded to decrypt and unlock the system, with threats against the business that their data will be leaked if they do not comply, that their data will be leaked.
In May of 2021, ACSC reports mention a ransomware attack that occurred on the global meat and food processing company JBS Foods, which led to the suspension of operations and standing down of workers in Australia.
The US division later confirmed that it had paid a ransom equivalent to $US11m – reportedly in bitcoin.
The ACSC says the problem has “grown in profile and impact, and poses one of the most significant threats to Australian organisations”.
“This increase has been associated with an increasing willingness of criminals to extort money from particularly vulnerable and critical elements of society.”
Contact us at Agilient for more information about our cybersecurity services.
Author: Mahdi Kobeissi, Cyber Security Consultant