How you can avoid being harmed by a cyberattack
The PwC Cybersecurity and Privacy team has been monitoring the evolving coronavirus crisis closely and has been taking part in conversations with clients from various industries.
By now a lot of companies have allowed their employees to work from home and have therefore increased or set up the required IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, this also provides a good opportunity for hackers to attack your IT infrastructure.
There are a number of areas that may be affected. Here are some questions for you to consider:
Observations have shown that the following services might be interrupted due to COVID-19. This overview describes how you can manage your IT infrastructure and how you can avoid being harmed by a hacker attack.
|Remote Work Technology||BCM Service||Access Management||Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks||Antivirus Solutions||Software Patches||Response Chain|
|Description||Most companies switch to remote work and face limited capacity of VPN technology or other technologies (e.g. Citrix).||BCM services are at their limits and could face cybersecurity issues which they have not thought about.||Companies still need to grant access to their secure data to employees working remotely. Identity and Access Management becomes crucial.||Malicious cyber actors could take advantage of public concern surrounding COVID-19 by conducting phishing attacks.||Advanced antivirus solutions need to be installed on servers, endpoints and on the customer side.||Companies need to install the latest software patches and security configurations.||Active system monitoring needs to be assured in terms of technologies and human resources|
|Consequences if interrupted||Slow system performance or interruptions due to overstretched capacity. Increased vulnerability due to BYOD and bottlenecks in insight & outsight connections.||They react and adapt to the situation instead of professionally operate. They need additional support for their daily business and from experts to think through potential scenarios.||Employees do not get access to the data they need for their daily job or their access rights are too broad.||Attackers receive access to company data and might install malicious software (e.g. malware).||A malware can be executed on servers, BYOD (e.g. notebooks) which leads to unauthorised access and potential data loss.||Hackers may find the systems with the highest vulnerability in your firm and attack them.||Likelihood of having undetected malicious system behaviour might increase and harm your organisation. Incident response and recovery might be insufficiently planned.|
COVID-19 will affect organisations to different degrees, requiring several actions.
|Minor Impact||Medium Impact||Major Impact|
|Details||Due to the current situation, phishing attacks on your IT infrastructure increase and might harm your firm.||Hackers have installed malicious software in your IT networks. The software spreads through the entire infrastructure.||Malicious software encrypts your server and backups. As a consequence, certain services are no longer available for your employees and clients (e.g. payment service).|
|Functional impact||Malicious software might be installed in your IT infrastructure without being detected. Increased potential for data loss.||Likelihood for a potential data loss is high. Moreover malicious software might block certain devices (e.g. notebooks) so that employees or clients no longer have access to your infrastructure.||Employees and clients no longer have access to the company infrastructure. Certain tasks can no longer be performed. This situation might have a reputational and financial impact on your organisation.|