How Isolation Is Birthing Cybersecurity Innovation
April 16th, 2020
As world economies reel from the wrath of COVID 19, businesses may find out that COVID 19 was not the only virus to be wary of. There is something much more insidious out there praying on employers. Most are completely unprepared, and it could prove to be the final nail in their financial coffin.
The pandemic has succeeded in doing to world economies what nothing else in modern history could do. Stock markets are crashing, unemployment is soaring, and global supply chains are being disrupted.
When the virus became front-page news, CEOs almost immediately hit the panic button. Beginning mass layoffs amid the chaos and quarantine. While many governments are providing some kind of relief, businesses can not see the benefit if the pandemic ravages their bottom line beyond the benefit of the subsidies offered.
Sadly, Most companies worldwide are now working remotely with a skeleton crew of a fraction of their former workforce. Zoom, Google Meetup, or other 3rd party providers being used to communicate.
Some economists believe that this change toward remote workers will have unforeseen consequences. Companies might adjust to a new remote worker norm and simply continue with employees working from home after the contagion is stifled or ended with a vaccine.
Many companies won’t feel they need offices if they can function with ease without them. They now are finding out how to do more with less and possibly will be shedding the weight of real estate overhead even after quarantine rules loosen.
Remaining workers are taking on the responsibilities of their laid-off colleagues. The workers taking on such responsibilities are eagerly doing so during one of the worst job markets since the great depression. However, the situation is causing disarray internally. A situation that is waiting to be exploited by malicious cyber-hackers.
The largest and most impacting consequence will be an overwhelming swarm of new cyber-attacks. Companies working outside of an intranet system and through a 3rd party communication service are inadvertently exposing themselves.
Add to that overworked personnel, juggling new responsibilities, and naturally workers will be inattentive to potential security risks from something as mundane as their laptop. A recipe for a cyber-disaster of massive proportions is brewing.
Most companies are completely unprepared to deal with such a threat, and by the time they realize they have a problem, it may be too late. Some companies will, unfortunately, serve as examples. From their misfortune, there will Inevitably a hyper-vigilance of the threats in the near future. Companies with remote workers will need to staff more cybersecurity experts and take more precautionary measures, as this kind of crime is expected to skyrocket.
Cyber-criminals looking to exploit the current circumstances are using a myriad of different techniques. These include phishing emails from administrative agencies and inserting malware into resources posing as important information about this health pandemic. Healthcare, governments, and all areas of the private sector are targets. Checkpoint, a leading cyber-security company stated on their official blog:
"New phishing websites have been spotted for every leading communication application, including the official classroom.google.com website, which was impersonated by googloclassroom\.com and googieclassroom\.com."
For even the most technologically advanced companies and government agencies, cyber threats pose a unique challenge. There is a massive worker shortage of qualified professionals in the field of cybersecurity.
The latest statistic was reported by Info-Security Magazine in November 2019: “The number of unfilled positions now stands at 4.07 million professionals, up from 2.93 million this time last year”. “Nearly two-thirds (65%) of responding organizations reported a shortage of cybersecurity staff, with a lack of skilled or experienced security personnel their number one workplace concern (36%)” That number may rise exponentially.
A world leader in cybersecurity education “Hacker U”
A world leader in cybersecurity education “Hacker U”, partners with top universities to provide a low barrier of entry into learning this critical field of study. HackerU was established 20 years ago by leaders in military defense technology. It has since transformed into a powerhouse for training individuals with no experience, to become qualified experts in cybersecurity in minimal time.
HackerU is now reaching out worldwide through its university partners to individuals looking to take up arms in the war on tech. They are seeing a wave of enrollment from people who have been forced out of work by COVID 19.
The virus has provided a time of reflection for many, and a large number are looking for a recession-proof skill set, one they can enter into immediately after training with an exceedingly high salary and a 0% unemployment rate.
To deal with the COVID 19 Quarantine, HackerU has been ahead of the curve on delivery. It is providing its thousands of new students courses delivered 100% online. New courses are opening up weekly and offer those with downtime to help protect their economy and national security interests. Most early enrollees will finish their training by the time mass quarantine is expected to end.
While the gears of university bureaucracy turn slowly, many are coming to the realization that this matter is of the utmost urgency for both commercial and national security interests. They are currently working to incorporate a fast track to fill the skill gap, and to meet this challenge head on.
By the time COVID-19 fades into memory, we face challenges in re-starting the machine of the world economy. Cybersecurity professionals are set to be essential in that process. The question remaining is, can the education system meet the demand to avert another disaster.
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