Coronavirus and malware share striking similarities
COVID-19 and cybersecurity efforts share a lot of space. That’s not because of the heightened attacks observed thanks to malicious third-parties. Rather, it’s because both computer and body viruses share similarities. A virus operates by replicating itself indefinitely once inside a host, causing damage to said host. Worms, trojans, and malware do the same thing once inside a computer system and/or network.
Because of those similarities, there’s a lot to be learned. In fact, even the most veteran of IT teams can pick up a few hints from the Coronavirus pandemic and its (proper) response.
Not so different after all
Preventing the spread of Coronavirus comes down to following protective protocols: limiting exposure to crowds, wearing a mask in public spaces (and gloves if necessary), minding the six-foot rule, and self-quarantining if a person experiences symptoms similar to COVID-19.
That’s quite similar to good cybersecurity strategies and tactics too. While you’re not keeping yourself six-feet from a server, you’re essentially practicing caution.
Testing and caution
One of the preliminary recommendations for defending against COVID-19 is testing. If a person suspects they have symptoms, they should get tested. Similarly, IT experts and cybersecurity teams should conduct routine network tests and scans on their own networks and symptoms.
Just as well, Coronavirus is asymptomatic, meaning it shows no signs of infection for up to 14 days. That’s how malware and other penetration attacks are conducted. More often than not third-parties infiltrate networks, examine it, finding the weak points (sometimes for months) until deploying their payload.
As mentioned, the best way to combat this is through meaningful testing conducted at regular intervals.
Adopting a “caution first” policy is important for mitigating both virus types too. From management to staff, establishing “safe until verified” is paramount for keeping systems protected. That’s the six-foot rule in digital form.
Wear your “digital masks”
Much like wearing a mask is the easiest way to prevent the novel spread of Coronavirus, applying this approach to online business activity works the same. Anti-virus, multi-factor authentication, and even data encryption are all essential protective measures when exchanging info throughout business networks. They are the “mask” of digital data, and in unfamiliar environments, important to keep on.
Keeping in the “know”
Ultimately, knowledge is power. We’ve stated many times in our blogs about the nature of human error and how it’s often the downfall of even the strongest business networks. And, much like Coronavirus, all it takes is one irresponsible party to put others in danger.
Knowing about Coronavirus and how it spreads is important to help mitigate the spread, as is with cyber attacks and malware. Therefore, educating staff and keeping them updated on the best cybersecurity policies (and IT policies in general) helps reduce risk of intrusion. For example: training users on recognizing phishing attack emails or suspicious connections/links.
Getting extra help
Finally, when all else fails, seeing medical professionals is important. In the world of IT, turning to expert providers is also recommended when a company lacks the resources and time to conduct training and scans on their network.
An MSP or similar providers are the “doctor” of IT and cybersecurity, as they have more resources, staff, and expertise available. In many cases, they can assist remotely too.
Therefore, when you take precautions against COVID-19, treat cyber threats and IT security in the same way. If you’d like additional info on third-party help, you can contact Bytagig today for more info.