The unforeseen situation brought by the COVID-19 left businesses struggling to manage business continuity. The work from home approach has been adopted by businesses around the world.
This approach helped companies to resume business operations. However, the work-from-home model evolved new waves of cyber threats.
Hackers were finding pandemic as the opportunity to exploit vulnerable home networks. According to the survey conducted by Microsoft, 28% of the businesses succumb to phishing attacks.
Hackers created various scam websites and phishing emails pretending to provide critical COVID-19 information. Most of the employees fell victim to such scams.
Besides themed phishing scams, many ransomware cases have also been reported during a pandemic.
Not only that, many companies were conducting Zoom meetings to interact with their employees. Tools like Zoom were proved to be an easy target for hackers. In fact, a Zoom meeting was disrupted by swamping explicit images during the session in South Africa.
Since the remote work shift was entirely unprecedented for everyone, therefore, businesses had no idea on how to cope with the situation. Most of the organizations furloughed their IT employees and some overburdened IT teams to help other workers in executing work from home safely.
This gap created network vulnerabilities, and hackers exploited those vulnerabilities which resulted in several data breaches, phishing, and ransomware attacks.
When these cyberattacks started to get out of control then an unexpected cybersecurity spending was seen. Companies began investing in cybersecurity to prevent hackers from further exploiting the network.
A lot of companies defended their data to some extent by investing in the following tools:
- Virtual private networks
- Antivirus software
- Two-factor authentication
- Endpoint device detection
- Anti-phishing tools
Note: The demand for Virtual Private Network USA has been drastically increased. In fact, the demand for the virtual private network surged by 44% during the second half of the March and remained 22% higher than before the pandemic sell.
Companies also encouraged online learning during a pandemic. Online learning never got this much attention before the pandemic however, good things happen to appear as well in times of crisis.
Organizations promoted online training to inform their employees on how to securely continue remote work. Many businesses train their employees and instruct them not to click on the unknown sources/links.
A lot of companies also restricted their network access which ultimately allows only a few IT members to access the network. In this way, the risk of unnecessary access minimizes to a greater level.
How Many Companies Invested In Cybersecurity After Pandemic?
Companies differently spend on cybersecurity, depending on their sizes. Various medium to big size companies invested up to 70% of their budget on cybersecurity. Small size companies also expanded their cybersecurity expenses.
All in all, almost every company increased its cybersecurity investment regardless of its size.
According to the Microsoft survey, 20% of businesses invested in multifactor authentication while 17% prefer to focus on endpoint device protection, similarly, 16% organizations emphasized anti-phishing tools and 14% paid for the virtual private networks for a highly secure work environment.
All the mentioned tools are great to maintain a remote workforce. These tools are great security warriors that maintain security and privacy on employee home networks.
Is Overly Spending in Cybersecurity Worth it?
COVID-19 crisis changed the world in many ways particularly, the way we used to run business. Companies are spending more than ever in cybersecurity to prevent major cyber threats in the future.
If we see the overall situation and challenges that occurred after COVID-19 then it’s quite sensible to maintain high cybersecurity.
If companies are overly spending on managing the network then it’s truly worth it. The only thing which businesses need to understand is that the direction in which they are investing must be appropriate.
Companies should create multi-pronged plans to find which cybersecurity tools are great for defending their network.
Investing in everything is not the right solution. Only spending in the right tools and techniques will be a beneficiary for the businesses.
Which Companies Should Increase Their Cybersecurity Budget?
Every business must prioritize its cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the most critical area for any business because it can result in severe consequences including data breach or sometimes can lead you to bankruptcy.
However, companies which seriously need to reconsider its cybersecurity budget are stated below:
Earlier, most of the financial services were spending 10% on cybersecurity from their total revenue. This figure will drastically accelerate in 2021 since financial services will be in dire need to restore and control its cybersecurity.
How to Determine your Cybersecurity Spending?
There’s nothing particular that can help you in deciding on your cybersecurity budget. One thing is for sure that companies will invest more in the cybersecurity budget since it’s a very complicated matter for most of the businesses.
You can figure out how much you need to invest in your online security by answering the following questions:
- How many data breaches does your company face each year?
- How many DDoS attempts your IT professionals experience?
- Do your employees often fall victim to phishing tricks?
By discussing the stated questions with your IT team, you can better define how much your company needs to put into the cybersecurity defense.
COVID-19 is a real eye-opener for companies around the world. It did not only evolve remote working but also helped businesses to think multidimensional about how to defend their network security. Since hackers disrupted home networks like never before therefore, organizations are planning to pump up their cyber defense spending which is expected to be properly aligned in 2021.