Due to COVID-19, most countries worldwide are facing economic recessions and a rise in online fraud attempts. The recession due to COVID-19 may drive up cybercrime by 35%, according to one estimate. It is worth noting that during the 2008 recession, countries like Brazil and Spain suffered economic downturns that led to a rise in cybercrimes.
It is difficult to predict the increase in cybercrimes during the current recession because the 2008 recession rose in a different landscape where technologies like smart devices and cloud services were still in their emerging phase. Cybercrime and tools that catalyze hacking were not so common back then.
Cybersecurity experts believe that criminal acts in the virtual space will increase at unprecedented rates, as we are more dependent on technology today than before. Furthermore, as more and more people choose to work from home during the pandemic, it may increase the risk of cybercrime due to reduced effectiveness in control and monitoring.
Phishing will remain a key factor
Cybercriminals will introduce new tools or techniques around phishing and modify their existing capabilities with new ideas. Most cybersecurity professionals see an increase in social engineering and phishing attempts during the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 related security risks are gradually giving rise to vulnerabilities in the financial sector. Phishing emails like “how you can get relief from ABC firm,” “how to get your cheque from government,” or “how to get a loan,” etc. have increased during this pandemic. Firms should expect and be prepared for more similar phishing attacks in the future. Cybercriminals pretending to be government officials, large firms, and other financial institutions have already started their attacks.
Business email compromise will continue to grow
Throughout this pandemic, we see an increase in ransomware attacks. It would be best if you had security in place for your employees from business email compromise (BEC). There are thousands of records and passwords available in the dark market through which the attackers can easily make their way into your business.
Off-the-shelf hacking tools will get cheaper
Ready-made hacking tools will get cheaper and become more accessible. Cybercriminals use various tools like exploit kits to hijack payments. As more people resort to online shopping due to the social distancing protocols, cyber attackers will increasingly use off-the-shelf hacking tools to steal your digital payment passwords, PINs, and data. Criminal hangs have set up their online shops to steam your critical information using exploit tools.
More people will use hacking tools
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that millions of people will lose their permanent jobs. This can force the young generation with good IT skills to turn to cybercrime. Unemployment and limited job opportunities will lead young talents toward the misuse of IT and hacking tools.
Vendor risk will go up
Small scale businesses and new startups, including your third-party vendors, may go out of the business during this lockdown. It will lead to security loopholes in various areas like data and service accessibility, besides exposing your leftover data with those vendors.