Candid Wüest, VP of Cyber Protection Research at Acronis discussed with us how the security has been impacted since COVID-19 pandemic started earlier this year in the Middle East
What kind of growth in cyber attacks have you witnessed, since COVID-19 started?
We have seen a high volume of cyber attacks since the pandemic. There has been an 80% increase in attacks in Q2 as compared to Q1 in the UAE. Cyber criminals have been misusing the fear and uncertainty to prey on unprepared and unsuspecting audiences.
Which is the new solution Acronis have introduced to counter such challenges?
We have introduced a new integrated cyber protection solution – Acronis True Image 2021. Although the threats are the same it is vital to use a holistic cybersecurity solution to protect all data, applications, and devices which is one of the reasons we launched Acronis True Image 2021.
How would you access the impact on security, since a large amount of data was moved online suddenly because of lockdowns, work from home, e-learning, etc?
With the drastic increase of cloud services and the transformation from on-prem to in the cloud apps came some new complexity as well. Many organizations still struggle to properly configure the new cloud data storage and APIs, leading to data breaches.
There is no longer a classical network perimeter, the user entity has become the new perimeter, which means that proper identity and access management (IAM) is key to protect the data in the cloud.
It should also not be forgotten that many companies have ignored privacy regulations at the beginning of the pandemic, but are now starting to realize that they need to ensure that sensitive data is properly encrypted and is stored in specific geographical locations.
What are the steps you think would be viable to counter this?
Even though these changes were often implemented in a hurry, it is always important to properly plan such digital transformations. Luckily we do have the expertise in-house, but else you can use external resources to help you with the new complexity of the cloud.
Another important point is the clear communication of company policies regarding data governance and privacy. Especially, when various devices are directly accessing the data on various cloud applications.