The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives and makes it challenging to have any foresight as the guidelines and reports seem to fluctuate daily. It’s simply impossible to predict what the world will look like from week to week or even a year from now. Invariably, this crisis will shape our lives for decades to come.
As soon as the number of cases started to escalate, the changes also started happening in our daily routines - almost concurrently. In addition, there have been significant shifts in behavior from people washing their hands more to wearing masks to using sanitizer more often and distancing themselves from others. Not to mention, many people started stockpiling essentials - and, who can forget the toilet paper shortage?
There isn’t any question that certain behaviors will stick around, such as disinfecting shared surfaces more often and improving our hygienic practices. Yet, the pandemic also shifted how we work. On the one hand, millions were furloughed as a result of the shutdowns and shelter-in-place directives.
On the other hand, employees in business, finance, and tech services transitioned to working from home. In fact, many retailers were selling out of webcams and laptops as consumers rushed to ensure they had the right equipment for remote work, collaboration, and also homeschooling for those with families.
Then, there are the new methods we have adopted to maintain our social ties. Instead of throwing parties or going out to eat with friends and family - instead of handshakes and hugs - we began having web dinners and virtual happy hours from home. The social fabric has transitioned to where people are finding alternative, and web-based routes for keeping in touch.
Yet, what will remain after this history-making pandemic is the feeling that nothing is predictable. Where many in the tech sector predicted remote work as the future of work, it is here now - years ahead of schedule. And, even with states and countries starting to reopen, many businesses will maintain their work from home protocols to ensure health and safety for employees who can work remotely.
The Internet has experienced a doubling of traffic in March alone. With everyone online - whether it be for work or for a virtual party - the cyberthieves have also taken notice and have set themselves up to take full advantage of this vulnerable time in our history. In fact, cybercriminals have - unfortunately - adapted rapidly to exploit the fears of their victims.
Phishing and ransomware attacks have skyrocketed, and are expected to continue their trajectory. But, it’s not just the individual hackers, state-backed actors are also on the move using the crisis to their advantage.
Sadly, while the pandemic has displayed the heroic side of many of our citizens, it has also brought out the worst in some. Many people working from home are using outdated security systems and operating systems, and the threat actors are breaking in - ready to pounce.
So then, what happens after we have reached the other side of the pandemic? What will be the new normal? We will see these new work patterns start to embed themselves into our society. Remote work will become more commonplace than ever before. Things will never go back to exactly as they were pre-pandemic. Those who take the right steps now, bolstering their cybersecurity, and using the right tech solutions to mitigate disruptions will be the ones who thrive in a post-COVID world.
Reach out to us and see how we can help and ensure that your network is protected and running at full strength. Please stay safe at this scary time if any assistance is needed you can reach us at 201-402-1900 or email us at [email protected].