Check Point experts, together with Dimensional Research, interviewed IT and information security professionals from around the world working in organizations with more than 500 employees. The main topic of the survey was the difficulties that specialists face due to the coronavirus pandemic, because attackers are already actively exploiting these topics and new opportunities that it opens up. For example, malicious domains dedicated to the coronavirus already number in the tens of thousands, and even hacked routers scare their owners with urgent information about the pandemic.
The results of the survey showed that cybercriminals are actively using the changes that are happening now in the organization of work of most companies and are intensifying their attacks.
So, 71% of cybersecurity professionals report an increase in the number of threats and attacks since the beginning of the pandemic. The majority of respondents (55%) report phishing attempts as the main threat. In second place are malicious sites that allegedly contain information and tips about coronavirus (32%). Next is the increase in the number of malware (28%) and ransomware (19%).
Another 95% of respondents said that they encountered additional information security problems due to the spread of COVID-19. Basically, these are difficulties in managing remote work, which many companies and organizations have contacted because of widespread quarantine measures. Three main problems in this area: the difficulties of providing secure remote access for employees (56% of respondents noted this), the need for scalable solutions for remote access (55%), as well as employees who work at home and use highly controversial IT products: unverified and software, tools, and services unapproved by IT professionals (47%).
Many experts believe that security problems will continue in the coming months. For example, 61% of respondents are concerned about security risks associated with the emergency transition of most companies to remote work. 55% of respondents believe that remote access security needs to be improved. Another 49% are concerned about the need to improve workstation security.
“Cybercriminals always strive to use the agenda for their attacks. The coronavirus pandemic created ideal conditions for attackers: most organizations work in new, unusual conditions, the news is devoted only to the topic of the pandemic, ”comments Vasily Diaghilev, head of Check Point Software Technologies in Russia and the CIS. “Now more than ever, attackers have many opportunities to attack companies, which means that their security is constantly under threat. Organizations need to use comprehensive protection against all types of cyber threats: it must provide a reliable connection between corporate networks and remote devices of employees, support collaboration between different groups of employees, and make it as productive as possible. ”
The results of the survey only confirmed the recent findings of Check Point that the number of “coronavirus” attacks and their associated domains is growing at a tremendous speed. For example, the average number of new domains registered from late February to mid-March was almost 10 times higher than in previous weeks. Moreover, domains associated with coronavirus are found 50% more often than others.