Study: Remote Work and Coronavirus Create Perfect Storm in IT Security

Published On: April 20, 2020Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Check Point Software Technologies, a San Carlos, California-based cybersecurity vendor, has released a new study measuring the effects of Coronavirus on the IT security landscape. According to a company-commissioned survey, concerns around the pandemic, combined with the abrupt shift towards remote work, have caused a 71% increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the outbreak. The leading threat cited was phishing attempts (cited by 55% or respondents), followed by malicious websites claiming to offer information or advice about the pandemic (32%), followed by increases in malware (28%) and ransomware (19%).

In terms of adapting to a remote workforce, 95% of respondents said they are facing added IT security challenges. The three leading challenges were provision of secure remote access for employees (cited by 56%), the need for remote access scalable solutions (55%) and employees working from home were using shadow IT solutions – untested software, tools and services (47%).

More than 60% of respondents were concerned about the security risks of having to make rapid changes to enable remote working, and 55% felt that remote access security needed improving. 49% are concerned about the need to scale-up endpoint security.

“Cyber criminals will always seek to capitalize 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 organizations,” said Rafi Kretchmer, Head of Product Marketing at Check Point. “This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures.”

The survey results reinforce Check Point’s recent findings that coronavirus-related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered since January 2020, and the average number of new domains registered in the three weeks from the end of February was almost 10 times more than the average number found in previous weeks. Similarly, Check Point’s researchers have uncovered several ‘Coronavirus specials’ advertised by hackers on the dark web, with ‘Covid-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ being used as discount codes for sales of out-of-the-box malware.

The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research, with 411 respondents from organizations of 500+ employees globally.

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