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Four Ways Disaster Fuels Cyberattacks

Four Ways Disaster Fuels Cyberattacks

Posted by TEAM ASCEND on 9/5/23 11:49 AM

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We often find ourselves faced with natural disasters such as a hurricane or raging wildfires. But did you ever stop to think about how these events might affect your organization's cybersecurity? Unfortunately, these unexpected catastrophes often create chances for cyberattacks. When you understand how this happens, you can keep your business protected ahead of time.

Let's talk about four main ways disasters make cyber threats bigger and how you can make your online security stronger when things are tough.

1. Leveraging 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 tackle this situation, establish a dedicated team responsible for monitoring and maintaining cybersecurity, even during times of crisis. Implement automated security systems to scan for vulnerabilities and apply necessary patches continuously. By ensuring cybersecurity remains a priority, even in challenging times, you can minimize the risk of cyberattacks.




2. Exploiting Fear, Urgency, Chaos, and Uncertainty

Disasters create an environment of fear, urgency, chaos, and uncertainty — prime conditions for cybercriminals to thrive. 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 nurturing a vigilant and informed workforce, you can strengthen your defense against cybercriminals seeking to exploit fear and uncertainty.



3. Disrupting Critical Infrastructure

During disasters, crucial parts of your technology can get seriously damaged. This can affect the elements that help keep your online security strong. If things like servers, routers, or firewalls get harmed, they might not be able to protect your digital defenses as well. This weakness can be exploited by cybercriminals who look for gaps in your security.

To deal with this challenge, it's important to ensure that your critical systems have a backup plan in place. Regularly back up your essential data and store it securely off-site or in the cloud. Test the process of restoring this data to ensure its smooth functioning. Additionally, create robust plans for disaster recovery and business continuity with respect to your cybersecurity.

By maintaining resilient critical infrastructure and regularly assessing your backup and recovery processes, you can reduce the impact of infrastructure damage on your overall cybersecurity.



4. Impersonation and Deception

In the aftermath of disasters, cybercriminals often take advantage of the trust people have in relief organizations and government agencies. They impersonate these credible sources and deceive individuals through methods like phishing emails, messages, or calls. By capitalizing on the urgency and confusion of the situation, they manipulate victims into revealing sensitive information or engaging in fraudulent activities.

To protect yourself from these scams:

  • Educate your employees about verifying the authenticity of communications during disasters.
  • Encourage them to independently contact the organization or agency through established, trustworthy channels to confirm the legitimacy of any requests.
  • Develop comprehensive security awareness training programs to educate employees about common tactics used in impersonation and teach them how to report such instances effectively.

By fostering a culture of cautious verification, you can defend against the impersonation and deception tactics employed by cybercriminals.



Take Action Now to Protect Your Business

Now that we understand how cybercriminals can focus on your business during a disaster, it's crucial to make preparedness a priority and put into practice the steps we've discussed. These actions are vital to navigate the constantly changing world of technology.

If you're seeking professional advice, the Team Ascend experts are here to assist you in strengthening your disaster preparedness and enhancing your cybersecurity measures. Let's work together to ensure a future that is both secure and resilient for your business.

Explore our range of IT services including cybersecurity solutions, service desk, and infrastructure management. With our guidance, you can navigate the ever-evolving technology landscape with confidence and focus on what matters most—your core business objectives.

Take the first step towards unlocking the true potential of your technology. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation and find out if we are the right partner for you.

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Posted in Cybersecurity Tips & Best Practices, Cyberattack Series, Cybersecurity