COVID-19 has caused growing levels of concern and fear, and cybercriminals are findings ways to capitalize on vulnerable businesses and individuals during the pandemic. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 related scams, with many bad actors using the terms “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” in domain names, emails, phishing and malware. The CAFC also noted that Canadian healthcare organizations are at an elevated risk of cyberattacks as they respond to the pandemic, along with businesses who have shifted to remote work through VPNs.

Compounding the everyday concerns of the virus is the strain of the sudden work from home orders on networks. Although this will potentially drive a faster digitization of businesses, cybersecurity is often an afterthought during these advancements which can have potentially dire consequences for an organization. With a rapidly increasing number of phones, laptops, tablets and IoT devices, Canadian organizations have no choice but to conduct in-depth evaluations of their security position as there is simply too much exposure.

Companies are facing the pressure of protecting their financial position and taking whatever steps necessary to ensure business continuity which can have extreme implications on security. In addition to these decisions, home routers are much less secure than most corporate environments. With this reduced home network security in mind, organizations need to have better endpoint detection response (EDR) for both corporately managed and non-managed devices. Alarmingly, nearly 70 percent of our survey respondents haven’t deployed an EDR solution at all.

With employees being driven to the cloud to continue their day-to-day tasks, hackers are simultaneously being given an increasing number of areas to exploit as organizations are failing to protect cloud infrastructure with the same enthusiasm shown for on-premise data centers. According to our cybersecurity study, only 5.9 percent of organizations report patching cloud environments immediately after the patch is released. Compare this to the 23.7 percent of organizations who patch on-premise applications and operating systems immediately. This staggering difference highlights that hackers are poised to have unprecedented access to multiple organizations networks.

Fortunately, there are tools available for organizations to protect network security in our new reality and post-Coronavirus.

Artificial intelligence is being used by organizations to detect viruses and malicious activity by learning a pattern of activity on an organization’s network. Considering the staggering number of hacking attempts some companies face every day, humans simply aren’t able to keep up which is where AI can support. When set up and monitored properly, AI and machine learning tools can increase cybersecurity effectiveness for companies both large and small. Unfortunately, our survey found that just over 30 percent of respondents haven’t deployed AI in any way to protect their network.

More information on our study can be found at the link here. If you’re interested in learning about the threats your organization faces and how they can be fixed, contact your CDW Account Manager at 800 972 3922.

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