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Search traffic reveals 'mad scramble' for cybersecurity at pandemic peak

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/jijomathaidesigners)

The sudden switch to remote working left companies in a “mad scramble for security”, suggests a new report from cybersecurity firm Nexor.

Based on analysis of search traffic, the report states there was a 126 percent surge in ‘cyber defence’ search queries between January and March, the point at which many lockdown policies were implemented. In comparison to March 2019, meanwhile, the search for the query was up by 116 percent.

March also saw a spike in related cybersecurity keywords, such as “cyber security services” (up 44 percent) and “how to install a VPN” (up 40 percent).

Further, remote workers demonstrated concerns about the security facilities offered by popular video conferencing services, with search traffic for “is Zoom secure”, “how secure is Zoom video conferencing” and “is Microsoft teams secure” rising across the board.

Nexor also believes employees fell under increasing pressure to secure their personal devices for business use, with almost two thirds (60 percent) reporting “elevated“ stress levels in connection with the issue.

During the lockdown, remote workers have been subjected to a barrage of coronavirus-related attacks, with cybercriminals attempting to capitalise on concerns surrounding the pandemic.

Security experts warned hackers are exploiting the topic to spread malware, creating fake Zoom websites and targeting remote workers no longer operating under the protection of corporate networks.

The full report can be found here.