Why Cyberthreats Tied to COVID-19 Could Hit Diverse Targets

Besides hospitals and academic institutions, dozens of nonprofits, including so-called “nongovernmental organizations” - or NGOs - around the world must protect their COVID-19 research and related activities from those seeking to steal data or disrupt their operations, says cyber risk management expert Stanley Mierzwa of Kean University.

A wide variety of these nonprofit organizations are potential targets for cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include those that exist to “advance science around the world with research and serving to advance particular missions,” he says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

Other nonprofits work on policy issues or public health concerns, he notes. “They often research and recommend strategies to governments in countries and can be involved with implementing programs,” he says. “Any of these could be targeted for cyberattacks if they are involved in pursuing COVID-19 research activities … including the response to COVID-19.”

Attacks on these organizations could affect their partners as well, he adds.


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