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Cyber security is vital medicine during COVID-19

Inspired by our leader Mark Darby’s recent article on the Dark Reading website we examine the threat levels in an industry currently under the microscope ― health. Our diagnosis? Don’t stop investing in your cyber security during a crisis.

As a result of the economic challenges brought about by COVID-19, CIOs across the globe are finding themselves faced with tighter budgets ― and even spending pauses ― at a time when their area of focus can least afford it.

Whether it’s phishing scams or sophisticated corporate attacks, coronavirus-related cybercrime is on the increase. Without a robust and joined-up approach to information security in place, health organisations are wide open to supply chain disruption and reputational damage.

It won’t have escaped the attention of cybercriminal networks that respected number crunchers like Gartner are reporting jaw dropping forecasts like $6.7 billion decrease in global security spending in cybersecurity this year. Indeed, online threats have increased sixfold since the pandemic began, with phishing attempts soaring by more than 600% since the end of February this year.

The World Health Organization has reported a fivefold increase in cyber attacks in recent months, ranging from relatively unsophisticated phishing emails to corporate attacks from bad agents misrepresenting themselves as part of the organisation’s supply chain.

The latest headline comes from the leading medical research institute in the University of California, an organisation that had pivoted much of its focus from AI and cancer research towards coronavirus at the start of the pandemic. As the most recent victim of the prolific Netwalker criminal gang, insult was added to injury when the negotiations of a $1.14 million dollar ransom payout was exposed to the media via link on the Dark Web.

But it’s not just those on the frontline of health and medical research who are at increased risk. While healthcare is at the forefront, reports suggest IT and telecoms, finance and construction are not far behind. Whatever your industry, If you’re responsible for the information security management in your organisation it’s imperative that you can confidently make the business case for preferential spend. You simply can’t afford not to invest in the right system.

We know the antidote to risk is a joined up information security management system that enables effective control and collaboration within your supply chain, but it can be a challenge to qualify the expenditure. In his Dark Reading article Don’t Slow Cybersecurity Spending: Steer into the Skid with a Tight Business Plan our CEO Mark Darby prescribes practical ways to influence your budget gatekeepers to prioritise spend towards cyber security.

Here at, we’re here to help your organisation become the most secure, resilient and competitive organisation it can be. If you’d like some advice on building your business case, get in touch.