This report reviews Mimecast’s detection data at various layers during the first 100-day period of coronavirus (COVID-19), commencing from the beginning of January 2020. Wherever possible data has been included for the entirety of the period under review. In some cases, however, additional processes have been introduced for the recording of COVID-19 specific data and in these instances, data is provided for the period for which has been available. The development of the COVID-19 epidemic into a global pandemic has presented a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fraud and predation which cyber threat actors, both criminal and otherwise, have been quick to exploit to the fullest.
Threat actors often use social engineering techniques (usually through pattern-of-life analysis) to increase the chances of a potential victim opening an email and clicking on a malicious link or attachment. Research has shown that over 90% of business compromises occur by email, and that over 90% of those breaches are primarily attributable to human error.
This report will break down the period into an easily digestible weekly review of detections. This activity is then reviewed, and assessments made in relation to what the data tells us in relation to threat activity during this initial period of the virus’ rapid spread, and the escalating response of international bodies and national governments. At the same time recommendations are made for the efficient maintenance of cyber-security during this exceptional, and deeply concerning, time.
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