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BizReport : Advertising : May 06, 2020

How COVID-19 is impacting marketers digital security

With World Password Day upcoming this week, we thought it would be interesting to see how brands' digital security is faring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bad news? For many businesses, sending workers home to work has opened them up to new attacks from fraudsters.

by Kristina Knight

According to new SecureAuth data more than half of consumers (53%) continue to use and re-use passwords among their various accounts. Nearly two-thirds (62%) are using the same passwords for between three and seven accounts and for business, only about one-third (38%) of employees are using unique passwords for their work logins. One-third of managers (34%) say they're using things like "123456789" or "PASSWORD" for their company logins.

What's the big deal about reusing passwords or keeping passwords for work simple? The big deal is that, even during COVID-19, fraudsters aren't taking time off. In fact many are upping the stakes and using the pandemic to target not only consumers but high-level executives. Weak passwords are a key way for these scammers to gain access to private information, to cause data breaches or even take business software ransom.

More data from the SecureAuth report can be accessed here.

According to data out from Barracuda nearly half of businesses (46%) say they've had 'at least one' cybersecurity scare since sending employees home to work and nearly that many (49%) say they expect to see at least one data breach over the next month because of the remote work that is on-going during the pandemic. Their research also found that half (51%) of businesses say they've seen an increase in phishing attacks since the work-at-home measures went into effect and more than one-third (40%) say they've slashed cybersecurity budgets to try to save costs during the COVID crisis.

"As many businesses enter their third month of remote working, it's time they refocus efforts on tackling this growing cyber threat. At this crucial time, one successful data breach could be the final straw for many businesses, which are already facing an uphill battle against COVID-19. And, in the current threat landscape, it's no longer a matter of 'if' a company's security will be tested by cyber criminals, it's a matter of 'when'," writes Fleming Shi, CTO, Barracuda Networks.

And from Mimecast, researchers have found that US consumers are the most-targeted group for virus-related spam messaging. Their data shows more than 83 million COVID related spam or fraudulent emails were blocked during during their month long tracking period.

The Mimecast report shows:

▪ 26% increase in spam/opportunistic emails
▪ 30% increase in impersonation emails
▪ 35% increase in malware detection
▪ 55% increase in blocked URL clicks

"The threat landscape has evolved. Cyber threats are complex, dynamic, and network defenses often have trouble keeping up with them. Highly sophisticated and targeted attacks continue to exploit the evolution of technology and the increased drive towards mobility easing the process of the exfiltration of data from organizations. An increase in the variety and volume of attacks is inevitable given the desire of financially- and criminally-motivated actors to obtain personal and confidential information," write the report authors.

More data from Mimecast can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, Barracuda Networks, digital security, digital workplace, ecommerce, Internet Security, Mimecast, SecureAuth

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