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Coronavirus-related security threats see huge rise

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike)

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the way businesses operate, with decision-makers forced to implement remote working policies virtually overnight.

Cybercriminals across the globe are taking advantage of the fact many businesses were utterly unprepared for this new challenge, with new figures from cybersecurity firm Check Point showing that practically all coronavirus-related criminal activity is currently on the rise.

Polling 411 IT and security pros worldwide, the firm found 71 percent reported an “increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the outbreak”. Phishing, malicious websites claiming to offer information about the pandemic, malware and ransomware are the four most significant threats.

IT pros are also facing new challenges when it comes to managing a fully remote team. Almost all (95 percent) said they had “added IT security challenges”, including the provision of secure remote access for employees, the need for remote access scalable solutions, and employees using shadow IT solutions from home.

Almost two thirds (61 percent) worry about security risks brought about by the sudden transition to remote working, and more than half (55 percent) feel remote access security needs improving.

“Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations," said Rafi Kretchmer, Head of Product Marketing at Check Point.

“To ensure security and business continuity in this rapidly evolving situation, organisations need to protect themselves with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture. This means ensuring accessible and reliable connections between corporate networks and remote devices 24/7, promoting collaboration and productivity between teams, networks and offices, and deploying robust protection against advanced threats and cybercrime techniques at all points on the enterprise network fabric,” he added.