It’s likely that your business already encounters various challenges in today’s technology-driven world. However, when an unexpected disaster strikes, it can push your organization to its limits. Unfortunately, this inadvertently opens up opportunities for cybercriminals to carry out destructive attacks, further intensifying the disruption caused by such events.
Disaster preparedness should be a top priority for your business — not only for physical resilience but also for fortifying your digital defenses. By understanding how disasters fuel cyberattacks, you can proactively safeguard your business against these deceptive threats.
Let’s look at four major ways disasters amplify cyberthreats and what strategies you can utilize to bolster your cybersecurity posture in the face of adversity.
Taking advantage of diverted attention and resources
When a disaster strikes, the immediate focus shifts toward safety and recovery. Unfortunately, this diverts attention and resources away from maintaining and protecting your IT systems and networks.
With a reduced emphasis on cybersecurity measures, essential updates and monitoring may be overlooked, leaving your networks vulnerable to intrusion. Cybercriminals seize this opportunity to infiltrate your systems, compromise sensitive data and disrupt your operations.
To address this situation, it is crucial to establish a specialized team that is dedicated to monitoring and maintaining cybersecurity, even in times of crisis. It is also important to implement automated security systems that can continuously scan for vulnerabilities and promptly apply necessary patches. By prioritizing cybersecurity, even in challenging circumstances, you can effectively minimize the risk of cyberattacks.
Exploiting fear, urgency, chaos and uncertainty
Disasters create an environment of fear, urgency, chaos and uncertainty — prime conditions for cybercriminals to thrive in. They launch targeted attacks, such as deceptive emails or fraudulent websites, capitalizing on the sense of urgency and the need for quick solutions. By manipulating individuals into disclosing sensitive information, cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to critical systems.
To combat this, educate your employees about the tactics used in phishing attacks and social engineering scams. Train them to recognize warning signs, such as suspicious emails or requests for sensitive information. Encourage a culture of skepticism and verification, where employees double-check the authenticity of requests before sharing confidential data.
By fostering a vigilant and informed workforce, you can fortify your defense against cybercriminals seeking to exploit fear and uncertainty.
Damaging critical infrastructure
Disasters can cause severe damage to your critical infrastructure, compromising components integral to your cybersecurity measures. Destruction of servers, routers or firewalls can weaken your defense mechanisms, allowing cybercriminals to exploit security gaps.
To address this challenge, ensure your critical infrastructure has backup and disaster recovery in place. Regularly back up your data, store it securely off-site or in the cloud, and test the restoration process to ensure it functions smoothly. Implement robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans, including provisions for cybersecurity.
By implementing and consistently testing robust backup and recovery processes for your infrastructure, you can effectively minimize the negative effects of infrastructure damage on your cybersecurity measures.
Impersonation and deception
In the wake of a disaster, cybercriminals often exploit the trust associated with relief organizations and government agencies. By impersonating these trusted sources, they deceive victims through phishing emails, messages or calls, tricking them into divulging sensitive information or engaging in fraudulent transactions.
To protect yourself from such scams:
- Encourage your employees to verify the authenticity of any communication received during a disaster.
- Advise them to independently contact the organization or agency through known, trusted channels to confirm the legitimacy of any requests.
- Establish robust security awareness training programs that educate employees about common impersonation tactics and teach them how to report them effectively.
By promoting a culture of caution and verification, you can defend against impersonation and deception tactics used by cybercriminals.
Now that we know how cybercriminals can target your business during a disaster, prioritizing disaster preparedness and implementing the above-highlighted measures are important to navigate today’s ever-evolving technology landscape.
If you need expert guidance, we’re here to help fortify your disaster preparedness and cybersecurity efforts. Together, let’s ensure a resilient and secure future for your business. Visit TruTechnology to learn about our proactive process to reduce your business risk. Schedule your discovery call here and safeguard what you’ve worked so hard to build.