In a Forbes article several weeks ago, I observed that the remote work model creates a greater cybersecurity threat since it exposes us to bad actors in ways that are much riskier than when we’re all working in our offices with the benefits of technological and social barriers to attacks. In our “post-Covid” world companies must think harder about how to protect themselves, and as we settle on appropriate return-to-the-workplace solutions for our organizations and employees we should take into account cyber-risk and recognize that cyberattacks are only going to increase in seriousness, scale, and frequency. Chadi Hantouche, cybersecurity expert and leader of Wavestone’s Asia Pacific practice, describes our new reality as “not a problem that can be finally and definitively ‘solved.’ Problems have defined solutions, and often concrete end points, but cyber threats are not problems any more than criminality is a problem—it is an ongoing challenge you need to address constantly.”
One unexpected hallmark of our global pandemic has been the stunning rise in cyberterrorism, which has been aided and abetted by the parallel growth of cryptocurrency. We’ve all gotten used to hacks, pranks, scams, and other annoyances of our online lives, but in recent years we’ve witnessed technological threats that we’ve only really seen before in James Bond movies: organized criminals, likely with the explicit support of foreign governments, attacking American businesses with sophisticated cyberweapons to shut them down and demanding huge sums of money as ransom. This phenomenon is not just criminal; it’s terrorism, and unfortunately it’s also now part of our business risk reality.
Cybercrime is nothing new, but security experts are struggling to keep up and the impact is getting more serious. Ransomware—when hackers, historically from Russia and now China, break into private systems to hold data for ransom—is up 150% or more since the beginning of 2021, with an estimated impact of $1.4 billion or more. The realities include:
Read more: FORBES