The year 2020, left many people wondering whether we were living in the twilight zone as the coronavirus continued sweeping across the globe and in the process changing the life that many of us were used to. Due to this, many people experienced fully remote working and were having to deal with merciless cyber attackers who took advantage of unsuspecting people seeking for help through technology, which of course took up a vital role in the way the pandemic eventually played out.
Learning from the past can help shape and inform the future through the previous pandemics that occurred and impacted cybersecurity. While the majority of citizens today had never experienced anything like this in their lifetime, we need to understand that this is not the first pandemic to occur, which has a major impact on cybersecurity. One of the most recent pandemics was the Influenza A virus subtype H1N1/09, commonly known as swine flu, which first emerged in the United States back in the year 2009 and spread like wild fire to the rest of the world. Having lasted between January and August of the same year, it was estimated that the virus killed 575,400 people all over the world.
The H1N1 flu was airborne and thus was regarded as the most contagious of all viruses and also displayed similar symptoms like that of COVID-19. It impacted the cybersecurity sector profoundly since governments in the affected countries had to enforce lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. It was one of a kind to have influence on the modern-day health information compliance, which affected workplace productivity, as many people were required to work from home. Other pandemics like Ebola, which spread rapidly in countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), also impacted technology but not at such alarming rates as there was a limited number of countries, which felt a significant impact.
Many organizations and companies have forced their employees to work remotely to ensure businesses stay afloat and critical services continue due to the enforced lockdowns. This as a result, could impact cybersecurity approaches and laid strategies that have been implemented in various companies and organizations. Therefore, it is very important to understand the risks of working remotely during such unprecedented times.
In an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, many organizations have opted to continue working from home with little to no hope of expecting major changes in a short period of time. When the pandemic hit the USA, companies such as Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet requested their employees to work from home, which saw a company like Microsoft record a 500% increase in video calls, messages and online meetings through their app called Microsoft Teams. Similarly, Zoom also became the number one downloaded application in the Apple’s store.