2020 was a year of unexpected issues that required urgent responses. The COVID-19 pandemic created many changes in our society, from how we work to the ways we purchase home necessities. Because so many of us had new demands for a strictly online life while social distancing at home, it opened a lot of doors for more online threats. Thus, there emerged a huge demand for cybersecurity—especially for government organizations.
Read on to learn the many ways COVID-19 began affecting government cybersecurity, and some of the solutions
Cybersecurity Issues That Grew Due to COVID-19
Because of the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in cyber threats and a growing rate of people handling every day things online. As a result, experts have started saying that we are also living in a cyber pandemic. Cybercriminals took advantage of the large numbers of people and new processes flooding the internet, and they began to attack more frequently. This created a new set of challenges for organizations and IT professionals to take on.
Data Security and Protecting Against Breaches
The protection of our personal information is crucial now more than ever, with many top news stories covering data breaches throughout the year. Risk Based Security reports that by the end of Quarter 3 of 2020, 36 billion records were exposed to cybercriminals. We learned about hackers stealing information and compromising defensive software tools—some going so far as to attack big organizations like Pfizer for confidential research data on the coronavirus itself.
Ransomware and Phishing Attacks
Last year saw many instances of ransoms attacking state and local governments, as well as organizations like hospitals and schools. As a result of these attacks, organizations suffered huge losses if they weren’t protected.
In addition, phishing scams attacked individuals and businesses alike. These emails or other messages attempt to lure you into a scam or other security attacks like identity theft and email takeover. Some of these attacks don’t take a lot of technical skill to learn, so with the desperate times many people faced during the pandemic, new cybercriminals emerged. They were enticed by the possibility of turning a cybercrime business into quick money.
Cloud Security and Protecting Remote Workers
Because of a new remote work environment, leaders and employers were called to invest in stronger systems to protect their workers. 2020 saw a shift in priorities for many companies and government organizations, who worked to provide a secure environment online for their teams.
Many government organizations and businesses turned to cloud computing programs, like those from Google and Microsoft, to manage everyday business operations. These software programs provide many benefits to the way companies and government organizations work, like creating a more secure virtual environment for teams.
However, leaders must carefully consider a software’s level of security and defense against cyber attacks. While there are many free options, investing in strong software can be beneficial for processes like storing data, sending messages, hosting online meetings, and other digital applications.
Enhance Your Knowledge of Government Performance
Like the virus, our online life will not be ending any time soon. And while there are always new opportunities and programs being introduced, there will also be new threats. Join Performance Institute during our regular trainings and virtual events to continue learning how you can enhance your government work performance and protect yourself online.