The history books may describe 2020 as one of the most turbulent years on record. A series of formidable challenges changed organizational and personal trajectories the world over. Sustainable growth initiatives are underway, but in the short-term, many of 2020’s concerns are here to stay.

Governments, businesses and individuals are still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Its spread has been merciless and scientists indicate that it may get worse. While health experts are concerned about the continued cases of the contagion, IT experts are equally concerned about the spread of a cyber pandemic. The World Economic Forum lists cybersecurity failures as among the top global risks in 2021; the fourth largest risk to the global economy.

A cyber pandemic could spread significantly faster and further than anything that we’ve witnessed in relation to the coronavirus. To offer some perspective, in 2003, the Slammer/Sapphire worm replicated and infected a new device every 8.5 seconds.

  • 2,000 new hosts appeared per minute
  • Over 75,000 devices saw infections within 10 minutes
  • Nearly 11 million devices were infected within 24 hours

Best practices to follow to prevent a cyber pandemic?

They’re strikingly similar to the measures that we follow to limit the spread of a biological pandemic.

  • Lower the infection rate. Recent changes in infrastructure may have reduced your visibility into systems. Ensure that you’re really able to get the data that you need and that you can truly protect critical assets.
  • Infection prevention. Get real-time prevention in the form of security intelligence and sandboxing technologies. Other types of prevention tools can also assist with detecting and removing threats.
  • Good cyber hygiene. Practice strong cyber hygiene by updating patches regularly and ensuring that your organization complies with industry-related cyber security regulations.

For more information on a cyber pandemic, watch this video clip prepared by the World Economic Forum.