[WATCH] COVID-19 & Cybersecurity: The new wave of digital viruses spreading across our devices

SiGMA's own Nick Bugeja sat down with Keith Fitzpatrick, the Director of Operations at iGaming Security, to identify new challenges faced by companies

Cybercrime has always been a relevant concern and has continued to grow throughout the years especially with the constant development of technology. 

Hackers have found new ways to penetrate companies, and therefore, cybersecurity is becoming a necessityThe need for cybersecurity has continued to grow even more now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has affected a number of industries around the world. Many companies have shut their doors while others were forced to adopt remote working. 

Due to companies taking on remote working, the safety barrier was broken. The security of Nick and Keithbusiness’ was compromised as staff were not in the work premises during this time, resulting in an increase in business for cyber security companies. 

This was due to many companies not realising the risks that come with sending their staff to work from home. 

[The year] 2020 was disruptive for everyone, not realising the risks when sending their staff home [to work]” 

Many companies were attacked, and unfortunately businesses were forced to close their doors as they were unable to recover.  

To counter these attacks Keith Fitzpatrick identifies a three-level approach used by many cybersecurity companies: 

"Use a three-level approach. Training awareness is very important because people assume that the staff should know not to click on an email but it's far from the truth. Penetration training, we actually attack the client - an ethical attack - managed together with the IT team of that company and we check the vulnerabilities of the system." 

The third level is phishing, which is considered to be the most popular and easiest method of attack. This is when hackers attempt to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails and websites. 

Therefore, through this method, no one is really safe. The safety of a business all boils down to their employees since you can have the best security but if someone from the inside lets them in, keith and nick 2then its game over. Ultimately, educating the employees is the business’ best bet in the battle against cybercrime and avoid any type of Trojan Horse attack in any shape or form. 

Furthermore, cyber-attacks are becoming way more sophisticated with even the likes of Google falling victim to an attack most recently, as Keith Fitzpatrick stated:  

"Google is the giant. If a giant is brought down on its knees for 45 minutes, an hour - you can imagine the security layers Google has, [so] what happens to companies that are not giants and they are being targeted. They will be brought to their knees and left there.”

Hackers have also started utilising the “social engineering” method which is becoming very successful due to the method exploiting the trust of people. Hackers will track your personal information and friends through social media and create a whole scenario before attacking. Cyber-attacks are never random but very thought out and planned attacks. 

In Malta alone, 900 companies were hacked last year and Keith Fitzpatrick advises that companies must hire a cyber security team to ethically attack “your business” as you could easily be next. 


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