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How the pandemic increased investments in information security

The year 2020 was marked by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) pandemic, which still continues to devastate several countries around the world. The spread of the virus caused countless deaths and radically changed the way we work: because of the need to remain socially isolated, many companies had to send their employees home, allowing them to work remotely. The problem is that not all of them were ready to face the challenges that would come with this new reality.

After all, how to ensure that employees had access to corporate assets, systems, and applications in a secure way, if they were spread throughout the city, state, or country? It became necessary to adopt solutions that enabled this remote access in a secure way, dodging the growing number of cyberattacks that took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to deceive inattentive Internet users. Information security has never been more important for each and every company.

At the end of last year, in a survey conducted with 3,000 executives in 44 different countries, the consulting agency PwC found that 55% of decision-makers planned to increase their corporations' budget for protection solutions throughout 2021. Even though many businesses are making less money, it has become obvious that prevention is better than the cure. Proactively investing in the security of sensitive data can protect a company from even greater headaches and losses.

Accelerated digital transformation

Nor can we forget that the new coronavirus pandemic abruptly accelerated the digital transformation process — which was moving at a slow pace, especially in Brazil. Prevented from being physically present, the retail trade industry was forced to migrate to online sales, boosting the e-commerce market. The same happened with industries related to entertainment, which had to cancel in-person concerts and events in favor of 100% digital experiences.

With such “digitalization”, of course, investment in cybersecurity becomes necessary. Entrepreneurs unaccustomed to working with the web were the ones who suffered the most, as they had to learn the hard way about the threats that haunt the internet. They also had to realize that it was much more than just creating a website and instantly start selling goods. Coincidentally, in the same year of 2020, the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) went into effect, which further boosted the area of protection and privacy.

Cybercrime has adapted

Of course, we must also not forget the fact that cybercrime has grown enormously during this period. As usual, scam artists and cybercriminals used hot topics (such as Federal Government Emergency Aid and vaccine research against COVID-19) to create even more seductive social engineering traps for the inexperienced user. In addition to phishing campaigns, charlatans began to spread malicious versions of software used for remote collaboration (including those for productivity and remote communication).

As much as the pandemic has increased the number of victims of cyber attacks in the online world, it is possible to view this period in a positive light: this incident forced companies to recognize the importance of adopting cybersecurity solutions and, above all, of keeping their employees on their toes regarding online threats. Remember, the best way to protect yourself is to ensure that your employees are able to identify risks, avoiding and reporting them to the appropriate team — something that can only be achieved with awareness and education programs.