Just as doctors are trying to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, cybersecurity experts are monitoring, assessing and advising on new techniques to thwart a different kind of invisible invader — cybercrime.
This Perspectives podcast summary features Jeff Lunglhofer, BNY Mellon’s Chief Information Security Officer, and Maria-Kristina Hayden, our Head of Cybersecurity Wargames & Awareness.
Even before the onset of the virus, one of the leading annual reports on the cost of cybercrime to global corporations reported that around $5.2 trillion could be at risk over the next five years.1 Economists have yet to assign a multiple to assess at the additional risk now that the coronavirus is sweeping the globe, but no doubt the cost will be staggering.
Cybercriminals are keenly aware that the vast majority of businesspeople around the world are now working from home, according to Jeff Lunglhofer. In our podcast, he says that it’s unprecedented for such a large number of employees to work remotely at the same time. And unfortunately, this situation gives cybercriminals new avenues to exploit.
With every type of virus, there are specific steps to stem the initial tide of infection. Jeff and Maria recommend “cyber hygiene” countermeasures as the first steps for defense. These measures are everyday best practices to ensure company systems and data are secure, and they include things like routine patching and consistent use of anti-virus software. Employees are accountable and have a key role to play with cyber hygiene too—staying vigilant for suspicious activity, and responsibly safeguarding company and client data.
Building resilience is key in the face of both viruses and cyberattacks. To help prepare for the latter, BNY Mellon maintains and rehearses business continuity and cyber incident response plans in order to prepare for interruptions and outages.
1“Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study,” Accenture, March 6, 2019.