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TECHNOLOGY


New report highlights ‘mad scramble for security’ at the peak of Covid-19


A “mad scramble” for cyber security was witnessed as businesses switched to mass remote working during the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis, new research has found. Using Google data, Nexor


identified a 126% increase in people searching for “cyber defence” between January and March 2020 – up 116% when comparing March to 12 months earlier. The Nottingham cyber security specialist’s report, named Why Cyber Security Is More Important Now Than Ever, was created to offer a retrospective look at how the UK dealt with the pandemic and the enactment of lockdown on 23 March. A surge was also seen in searches


for other online security-related terms, including “cyber security services” (up 44%) and “how to install a VPN” (up 40%) – indicative of more businesses seeking support and help with securing their networks. In addition, the research


highlights an increase in pressure felt by employees to ensure their


‘It is crucial for firms to have business continuity plans in place to help prepare for unexpected events such as this’


businesses have had to adapt to the change in pressures caused by Covid-19. “We know just how paramount


cyber security is to the sustainability and protection of a company – but what this research shows was how underprepared many were for a switch to mass remote working. “While none of us could have


Sarah Knowles


personal devices were safe enough to protect their company and its confidential information – with 60% reporting elevated stress levels as a result. Senior security consultant Sarah


Knowles said: “This report offers a unique insight into the ways


predicted this pandemic, it is crucial for firms to have business continuity plans in place to help prepare for unexpected events such as this. “Part of that should include plans


for cyber resilience and policies for home working, which brings about its own unique set of challenges.” Sarah believes taking a


retrospective look at the data allows businesses an opportunity to reflect


on how they can do better in any future crises. She pointed to advice and


software that can help companies improve their cyber security, including the government-backed Cyber Essentials accreditation. “While we have not yet returned


to ‘business as usual’, now is the time to put together a plan of action to get your cyber defence up to standard,” she added. As the country turned to virtual


meetings to stay in touch with colleagues and clients, the research shows a considerable spike recorded for the search terms “is Zoom secure?”, “how secure is Zoom video conferencing?” and “is Microsoft Teams secure?” In March, experts at the National


Centre for Cyber Security (NCSC) revealed cyber criminals were exploiting the coronavirus online, with an increase in phishing attempts identified in several countries. Nexor believes the Government's


rollout of its new track and trace system in May could open up even more opportunities for hackers to attempt new phishing techniques.


business network August/September 2020 65


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