Security Testing Under the Shadow of the Coronavirus

By Gily Netzer

The coronavirus outbreak has caused a global panic and taken its toll on a number of major industries. We’ll examine the impact it has left on the travel industry, supply chain and manufacturing, and on the world economy.


Coronavirus Creating Worldwide Panic and Business Opportunities for Hackers

Amid the recent coronavirus epidemic creating pandemonium worldwide, hackers have been exploiting the deadly outbreak to their advantage – disguising information about the virus in the form of malicious emails aimed at Japan courtesy of the notorious Emotet gang.

The new campaign distributes Emotet payloads through emails that warn of the coronavirus infection. Once the attachment is opened, the unsuspecting victim will then be directed to the familiar Office 365 document which will then allow the malware to install and infect the devices.

Another malicious email attack borrows the World Health Organization as a “trusted source” to dupe victims into installing the AgentTesla Keylogger via a document attachment  in an attempt to steal both personal and financial information.

Along with new phishing techniques comes other coronavirus-related scams that have risen in the last couple of days amid the coronavirus outbreak. One such scam recently circulating in the news was an online masks scam tricking 3,000 people in Hong Kong who had purchased the masks but never received them or heard back from the seller.

The demand for masks has beyond exceeded production causing a frenzy among concerned people in China and all across the continent. Since February 2020, there have been a reported 7,500 coronavirus-related fraud cases in China totaling over 192 million Yuan or $28 million.  

 

Coronavirus Impact on the Global Supply Chain

Global supply chains have been feeling the impact  of the outbreak. Supplies and raw materials are becoming scarce as workers go into quarantine, forcing international businesses to rethink their supply chain strategy.

Chinese manufacturers are suffering immense financial setbacks as their PMI dropped to 35.7 in February from 50 in January which is the lowest it has been since 2004. Production has also come to a halt as more workers remain in quarantine.  

Health guidelines and travel restrictions have caused manufacturers and international retailers to shift their methods of transportation consider alternative routes to move materials and reach customers abroad, potentially costing millions in the process.

Some of the biggest names in the industry have been hit hard too. Titans such as Apple, Starbucks, Nike, Home Depot, and Microsoft – have all begun cutting down on services and staff in China until the coronavirus epidemic subsides.

 

The Financial Impact of the Coronavirus

Wall Street has felt the impact of the coronavirus with substantial losses unseen in over a decade. Many investors have even speculated a global recession potentially larger than the 2008 financial crisis which cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars.

Fears of a widespread epidemic have left major market indexes such as NASDAQ, the S&P 500, FTSE, and the Dow Jones plunging by over 200 points a week ago down and hitting new record lows since the 2008 recession.  

The financial toll may rise even further as investors continue to panic and manufacturers cease production, at least for the foreseeable future.  

 

Coronavirus Impact on Travel

Not since 9/11 and the 2003 SARS outbreak has the travel industry been hit so hard. Canceled flights and low tourism demand due to the coronavirus outbreak could cost airlines over $30 billion as companies continue to limit business-related travel.  

Companies such as Google and Salesforce have taken safety precautions by suspending non-essential travel while others have been limiting on-site job interviews and asking employees not to bring any guests until things clear up.

 

Breach and Attack Simulation Runs Anywhere 24/7

Quarantined? Don’t stop optimizing your security posture.  At a time when human interaction exposes us to infection and the world faces a global epidemic and slows down, hackers don’t. They don’t need to be at the office to do their job. At a time like this, it’s good to know that continuous security testing can be performed remotely. SaaS-based Breach and Attack Simulation can be done independently without the need to set up physical meetings or leave your house – if you are concerned about traveling. Even from the safety of your home, you can test and optimize your company’s network.

With just a few clicks, Cymulate challenges your security controls by initiating thousands of attack simulations, showing you exactly where you’re exposed and how to fix it—24/7 regardless of where you are. Whether you’re working from the comfort of your living room, at a local café, or even while relaxing on the beach.

Test it for yourself today with a 14-day free trial.

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Gily Netzer

Gily Netzer, CMO, brings marketing leadership to Cybersecurity companies. Gily is a marketing strategist and leader with 20 years of international B2B Cybersecurity experience, driving business, retention and consistent growth. Gily’s past experience includes marketing leadership roles in startups such as Illusive Networks and large brands, including Symantec. Mother to three talented boys, Gily is also one of the few CMOs that can claim to have served in an F-15 squadron.

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