The health-care sector has been a major target of cybercriminals with millions of attempted attacks amid the novel coronavirus vaccine rollout.
The deployment of COVID 19 vaccines provides hackers a new opportunity to steal a cache of private data and sell it on the dark web. Businesses must safeguard the data of patients taking the COVID 19 vaccine, with public faith in the vaccine in jeopardy if they fail to do so.
As per the cybercrime data from Interpol, out of 3,000 online drugstores suspected of selling illegal medicines and pharmaceutical tools, nearly 1,700 included cyber threats, spamming malware, and phishing, which could give cybercriminals easy access to personal data.
CISOs warn that hackers will direct intrusion efforts towards institutions involved in the registration and tracking of distribution of the COVID 19 vaccines to access valuable and confidential data.
According to the Harvard Gazette, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said 75-80% of Americans need to be vaccinated to curb the coronavirus pandemic. But, attacks on public trust in vaccines, either through online disinformation or data sabotage, may result in a decline in the number of people willing to be vaccinated.
For individuals seeking the vaccine, cyber threats could be found in the form of watering hole attacks, where innocent victims are led to a phishing portal or website and prompted to enter their personal data which is then sold to hackers. Later, hackers take the data and sell it on dark web forums, giving assurances of account breaches and identity theft to the greatest bidder.
It’s advised to keep networks separate wherever possible. For businesses, traffic between networks must be confined to rigid policies. Individuals should use multiple router networks at home, allotting one each for personal and professional activities.
Furthermore, companies and individuals must also implement multi-factor authentication wherever possible. This works as a significant deterrent against hackers looking for easy interventions. Most cyber-attacks use unpatched vulnerabilities and drive individuals and businesses to automate the deployment of essential updates to every operating system and application.
It’s a big challenge for humans to identify abnormal and strange behavior on networks. State-of-the-art automated endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) can be used across networks and endpoints to identify criminals when they attack a system. Once installed, businesses should conduct threat hunting regularly to detect any unusual behavior.
During social engineering attacks, hackers take advantage of current events like the COVID 19 pandemic and vaccine rollout to deceive victims into providing sensitive data or downloading malware, which continues to be a successful strategy for attackers.
Therefore, individuals and businesses should be cautious of what they click on They should also avoid clicking on hyperlinks; instead, they can cut and paste them into a browser and scrutinize the URL to know more about the website they are accessing.
By implementing these cybersecurity practices, organizations can alleviate a digital pandemic. This will help ensure that the vaccine is given to those who need it as swiftly and securely as possible.
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