The socio-health and economic circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are conditioning the way in which companies and organizations carry out their activity, in addition to marking a clear turning point in the way employees carry out their work activities. COVID-19 has brought a general decline in all economic indicators and as its incidence continues over time, it is pulling down the forecasts and prospects for recovery.
This economic recovery will be, predictably, complex, non-uniform and conflictive compared to normal periods. Therisks and threatsthat usually affect the business, many times in a more active, intense and persistent way. In addition, other specific risks and threats will appear associated with the new situation and linked to the obligation that organizations will have to use their digital resources more intensively. New threats will emerge and those of a traditional type, far from diminishing, will have better possibilities to materialize by exploiting an already observable imbalance between the level of cybersecurity preparation of organizations and the growing demand for digital resources that they have. Very likely, this decompensation will go up.
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The cyber intelligenceit is already anticipating these scenarios and adjusting its solutions to them in a general environment that is increasingly “digitally dependent”. In this environment, characterized by a larger exhibition area for organizations and a greater decentralization ofcorporate digital assets, both the end user and the organization in which it is integrated are left in a much more vulnerable situation.
Again the main value that cyber intelligence will bring to the cybersecurity, security as a whole and the strengthening of the business will be based on proactivity, understood in a double line of action: anticipated search for threats and interaction with them over time. That is to say, take the initiative to face the risks and go to meet them and also know them in depth by “living” with them, thanks to the virtual conversion into one more actor of those who act in the complex and varied space of cybercrime or the hacktivism , replicating the ways of operating of these groups; its tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs).
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What can be expected and what trends are already noticeable in the current situation? Where will the evolution of the threat go? We advance some examples of what we understand to expect:
Insider Threat: the negative general economic scenario will strain the situation both in the labor market and in terms of the levels of competition with which companies will interact with each other. Consequently, an increase in the threat of the conscious Insider type and the sponsored type, both conscious and unconscious, can be expected. In addition, teleworking will open up new opportunities for action, especially in those organizations and users who are unfamiliar with this work modality.
Digital incidents and cyber attacks : with an increasing incidence, already reported since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the study of traceability and attributions will become more important, aspects on which cyber intelligence focuses through a combination and integration of its own and specialized capacities, jobs and tasks, both digital and non-digital. The increase in teleworking and a more intensive use of digital resources by organizations will increase the exhibition area and therefore its potential vulnerability.
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In increasingly competitive national and international market environments, the validation and verification of clients, competitors, partners, suppliers and in general any of the stakeholders involved in the business will become more necessary . There will be a progressive need to incorporate cyber intelligence capabilities into the procedures, protocols and policies of ” know your partner, know your customer “, in addition to other ” due diligence ” actions carried out by the legal, compliance and audit departments , HR and others.
The “critical personnel” and the top executives of the companies will have to take more care of their level of digital exposure as they are now more potentially attackable by the usual hostile actors of the hacktivist, cybercriminal, and sponsored actor type. These hostile actors will continue to search for easily monetizable assets and also others that have a negative and direct impact on the brand image and reputation of companies. By replicating the actions of hostile actors, the level of exposure can be assessed to reduce it and further reinforce personal security settings.
All forms of fraud , especially BEC (Business Email Compromise) , will be extended, both in campaigns and in specific concrete actions directed at businesses and organizations in a particular way.
In short, hostile actions will continue to become more sophisticated in environments of greater economic stress and companies they will need to protect themselvesand also know who has been able to plan, order / sponsor and execute certain actions in order to be clear about your Threat Map, adjust your strategies, reduce your uncertainties and reinforce your business defenses. Cyber intelligence will continue to be a useful tool to achieve these goals.