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Preventing COVID-19 and Cyber Threats with Lockdowns

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

Since the majority of states in the U.S. have eased lockdowns for COVID-19, there has been a sharp resurgence in new cases and deaths. Easing lockdowns on some areas of the country while others are in lockdown causes various difficulties in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Although many guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing can be helpful, locking down is the only solution that can stop the spread of the coronavirus at scale. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated “the worst that can happen is that we make a misstep and let our emotions get ahead of the facts, and we have to go through this again". If areas of the country prematurely go back to normal life, it will make previous lockdown efforts futile. The spread that was being prevented for the early part of 2020 will expand its reach and affect many citizens.

Although many Americans are fatigued by the extended lockdowns that started in March, the effectiveness of the lockdowns have been understated. In a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley, scientists stated without lockdown measures over 65 million more people would have the coronavirus; the U.S. has approximately 3 million confirmed cases as of July 4th 2020. States and local counties have to reassess their current COVID-19 prevention measures and decide their best route of prevention for their local populations.  

Lockdown against cyber threats

Cyber threats have also been on the rise with the spread of the coronavirus. Since there’s constant stress on business owners with remote work, making ends meet, etc., cyber security has been an afterthought for many businesses. Taking time to ensure cyber security measures are locked down can help your business from phishing, malware and other types of cyber attacks. Cybersecurity firm Lookout saw a 26% increase in mobile usage for work-related activities since the start of the coronavirus. Bob Stevens, VP at Lookout, stated that “"Employees working from home are using their personal mobile devices to connect to home networks, which means traditional perimeter-based security tools no longer provide visibility or control for security teams.” For many businesses, this means they have to reevaluate their security controls. If so many employees are accessing work documents from their mobile phones, it’s easier for hackers to target mobile devices and get sensitive information.

Mobile devices are more dangerous for hackers to penetrate than computers because:

Screen and font size: When using mobile devices for work activities, it’s much more difficult to see minor differences that would be easily seen on a desktop computer or laptop. If an employee is reading a phishing email on a mobile device, it’s much harder to tell the phishing attack because the screen and font size of a mobile device is much smaller. This could lead to an employee clicking a harmful link or downloading malicious software.

Training/preparation: Many organizations do not train employees on protecting their information on mobile devices. Many of the cybersecurity training takes place on desktops and they hardly cover using mobile devices for work. This lack of awareness propels the myth that mobile devices are not susceptible to cyber attacks.

To learn more about how you can lock down your cybersecurity for your business, take a free assessment today.

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