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While 2020 is likely to be a year many would prefer to forget, the changes it has brought to our lives are likely to have lasting effects, even after COVID-19 is finally put to rest. One area of change has been work: Post-pandemic, half of British employees are demanding flexible working arrangements, with 30% prepared to quit should their employer demand a full-time return to the office, according to Kekst CNC’s COVID-19 Opinion Tracker.
The people of Wuhan, China suffered a second and unexpected indignity after enduring the outbreak of COVID-19. Several residents of the original epicenter of the virus found their names, addresses, daily movements and other personal data leaked online. It was an apparent attempt by vigilantes to protect the rest of the population from those presumed to carry the virus.
Cyber criminals are social chameleons – constantly adapting and searching for opportunities to use their technical expertise to exploit primal emotions. With the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, people are afraid and hungry for information. At the same time, employees around the world are relying more than ever on technology and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to work remotely. As a result, the pandemic offers unmatched technical and psychological vulnerabilities for cyber criminals to prey upon.
With an increase of 67% in cyber security breaches in the past 5 years, the record GDPR fine of €204m for the British Airways Data breach and a growing diversity of sophisticated attacks, it’s not surprising that cyber incidents are listed as the top business risk for 2020 according to the latest Allianz Risk Barometer. In today’s digitally interconnected working world, cyber-attacks rarely affect isolated elements of a company but have an impact on multiple sites, departments and global business operations.
While recent meetings in Europe between Prime Minister Johnson and his counterparts in Brussels, Germany and France may have brought increased hope that a revised deal can be negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, it is still the case that a ‘No Deal’ exit remains a distinct possibility. This would see the UK leave the EU at the expiry of the Article 50 extension, at 11 p.m. on 31 October.
The current political and business landscape is extremely volatile. The result? Companies are increasingly likely to face issues that can damage their reputations, destroy consumer trust, harm employee morale, and impact share price.