The push to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic is straining cybersecurity professionals around the country tasked with ensuring workers are able to not only work efficiently from remote locations — but to do so safely. This rapid shift is a tall order for an industry that was already in need of skilled professionals long before the pandemic took hold.
Cybersecurity workers were taken off some or all of their typical security duties to assist with other IT-related tasks, including equipping mobile workforces, according to an April survey from global nonprofit (ISC)2, the largest association of certified cybersecurity professionals. The survey of 256 cyber pros found nearly half were re-tasked and that a quarter said cybersecurity incidents increased since the transition to remote work, with some seeing as many as double the number of incidents. Separate data from another nonprofit cybersecurity group, the Information Systems Security Association, found a 63% increase in cyberattacks related to the pandemic, calling Covid a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for hackers and online scammers.”
“We are outnumbered—the people that are doing bad things, whether it’s a nation-state type of activity or cybercrime—the good guys and gals were vastly outnumbered prior to the pandemic,” says David Shearer, CEO of (ISC)2. “It has a compounding effect to what was already a challenge… take all of this technology we are becoming more and more reliant on and it’s scaling in a massive pace.”