SINGAPORE (12 June): As countries slowly reopen their economies and workers in Singapore begin cautiously returning to their offices following the lifting of some “circuit breaker” measures on June 2, one may be tempted to hope that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Yet for most organisations, lurking in the shadows is the spectre of a “cybersecurity pandemic”, with cyberattacks on the rise as it becomes more common for office workers worldwide to work from home (WFH). 

A study by cybersecurity software firm McAfee observed a 630% increase in online attacks from external actors since the onset of Covid-19 lockdowns. iDefence, an Accentureowned cyberthreat intelligence firm, found that over 16,000 coronavirus-related domains have been created since January, with Covid-19- related domains 50% more likely to be fraudulent than others. 

Phishing, where criminals pose as legitimate institutions and use e-mails, phone calls or text messages to deceive targets into divulging personal information, has been the most prevalent form of cyberattack. Cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks observed a 667% spike in phishing cases since end-February, while a survey of 411 IT and security experts by Check Point Software Technologies saw 55% of respondents report phishing attacks against their organisations, followed by disinformation (32%) and malware attacks (28%) in terms of prevalence. 

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