According to global intelligence analysts, countries and regions that typically keep cyber espionage activities to a minimum are ramping up their cyber espionage efforts.

Given that spies can no longer physically cross borders in many areas of the world due to coronavirus-related lockdown regulations, cyber spies are working hard to close intelligence gaps. The fact that many employees are now working from home makes initiatives much easier than before.

For example, amidst the rapid transition to working-from-home, many intelligence agencies arranged temporary new security set ups for their employees. The security may prove challenging to sustain, leading to brief security lapses. Cyber spies are attempting to exploit these shortcomings.

Individuals who work for government agencies, universities, medical research laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies that focus on the coronavirus crisis are also at risk of cyber espionage hacks.

Artificial intelligence tools can typically help with the detection of intruders or unwanted network traffic. However, “the workforce is so dispersed that trying to understand what is an anomaly right now is almost impossible.”

“AI takes time and data to work so when you have significant disruption as we are just experiencing now, you need time and you need data from this new normal to get a sense of what’s anomalous…and that time lag tends to favour attackers,” says Mike Rogers, former head of the US National Security Agency.

Now is the time to strengthen your organization’s cyber security posture, and to become as resilient as possible, especially if your employees could emerge as targets in international espionage attempts.

For more info on cyber espionage, visit the BBC.