COVID-19 Crisis Sparks Quadrupling of Cyber Crimes

Many companies have introduced telework due to the new coronavirus, which has brought about a major change in the way people work.
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On the other hand, the number of cyber attacks targeting personal devices that are not fully equipped with security measures are rapidly increasing, and companies are trying desperately to catch up.

Before the coronavirus had hit, the increase in ease for external access privileges created an environment that allowed individuals to access business internal networks easier. With this increase of ease, the rate of cyber crimes has also increased each year. Additionally, the confusion caused by this new coronavirus has spurred a recent uptick in cyber crimes.

As the methods behind cyber attacks continue to evolve, we need to look at new security measures.

Pandemic cybercrime rate quadruples compared to a few months ago

According to a FBI investigation, prior to the new coronavirus, the number of reported cyber crimes were about 1000 cases in a day, but after the pandemic hit, that number had jumped between 3000 and 4000 cases in a single day.

One reason for this increase is the sudden increase of teleworking due to the coronavirus. Individual workers are taking company info back home with them and using devices with weaker security features to perform their jobs.

People also tend to respond more to disturbing information than positive news. Now that the world is filled with negative information about viral infections, hackers are hiding malicious content behind engaging information.

Honda suffers cyber attacks in June 2020

With the development of the internet, new cyber attacks called “ransomware”, which require users to pay a ransom by holding a person’s information hostage, are increasing. In fact, automaker Honda was hit by this cyber attack on June 7.

This cyber attack stopped the IT networks of Honda in Europe and Japan, making it difficult for them to operate at normal capacity.

WHO is also targeted by cyber attacks

At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) was also attacked by hackers. This hack leaked the passwords of 2000 employees who had login access to confidential WHO info.

Confidential and medical information of large companies that should not be leaked to the outside, are very suitable as hostages. Because of this, hackers are trying to attack the servers of large organizations.

Although informational technology advances, cyber crime continues to increase

Looking at the examples given above, it appears that the hackers are only good at utilizing the security holes that are made vulnerable due to the coronavirus. If telework security measures are strengthened, there should not be any worries about viral infections in the future… But is that true?

The table below shows the rate of cyber attacks that have occurred in Japan between 2015 to 2019.

Looking at the table above table, we can see that the number of cyber crimes have been increasing every year even before the coronavirus. We can see that along with the sophistication of informational technology, the methods of cyber criminals continue to evolve each year.

Even organizations that understand the importance of strict security, such as Honda and the WHO, are not able to keep up with the evolving nature of cyber attacks which keep getting more sophisticated every year. 

In other words, if you were satisfied with the security review for these cyber attacks, a new cyber virus could be developed in a blink of an eye and you could be at risk again.

This sort of work fuels our anxiety and currently, there are no concrete measures to stop this from happening. In order to overcome this situation, which is always at risk of cyber attacks, it is imperative to develop new robust security services and continue to improve security literacy not only for corporations but also for individuals.

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