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Critical Importance of Cyber Threat Intelligence for WFH Workforce

16 April 2020 | Bernice McCallum

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the world, affecting all socio-economic systems, the digital space is also facing another invisible threat. Malicious actors of varying sophistication are launching cyberattacks, trying to take advantage of the situation to attack the information systems of companies, organisations and individuals. They are preying on people's increased reliance on digital tools for remote working and exploiting the uncertainty of the global crisis through phishing campaigns and other malicious cyber activities themed around the virus.

Incredibly, the Oxford Economics estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic will cost $1.1 trillion USD in economic losses globally, and is viewed by cybersecurity experts as the first biological virus to have a significant impact on the cybersecurity industry. Since COVID-19's emergence, threat actors have used and are continuously using the pandemic as the theme for malicious cyber activities that have already resulted in interruptions to hospital and government services.

So, how can organisations better prepare their staff and take proactive measures against these increased threats?

One of the best methods to mitigate against cyber threats is by active use of Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) to inform your organisation. Threat Intelligence is a part of cybersecurity that focuses on the collection, analysis and reporting of information on both current and emerging threats that can adversely impact the security posture of an organisation. It's a proactive security measure that helps prevent or mitigate the risk of data or security breaches.

CTI's main objective is to provide companies with an in-depth understanding and set of actionable insights into the cyber threats that pose the most significant risks to their infrastructure thereby enabling organisations to make informed, risk-based decisions. And ready or not, these risks extend to remote home offices as well.

Similar to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with cyber threats can be addressed with understanding, guidance, and the practice of good hygiene. Everyone's behaviour is instrumental in preventing the spread of dangerous infections, both online and in the physical world. The World Economic Forum provided three practical actions for users to stay safe online:

  • Maintain good cyber hygiene: Users are encouraged to take the time to review and follow proper cyber hygiene habits.
  • Verify sources: Verify the source of every URL and ensure that the applications you are installing are the original versions from a trusted source.
  • Stay up-to-date on official updates: Users should update their systems software and applications to patch any vulnerabilities that may be exploited by threat actors. In addition, users should follow official updates about the COVID-19 pandemic from UAE government sources. Don't be fooled by non-government notifications.

The immediate introduction of large-scale remote working raises cybersecurity risks. Be smart, stay informed, and get the latest insights on cyber threats from Digital14's Threat Intelligence Centre. Download Cyber Threats in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic report today.

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