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Cyber resilience in a pandemic

Fear of the COVID-19 outbreak has caused workplace and industry upheaval, forcing organisations to consider the remote workforce option as the primary model of work.

There are a plethora of additional cybersecurity challenges stem from the necessity of having staff work remotely to cope with the pandemic.

Maintaining cyber integrity in the face a remote office presents significant risks for most organisations.

  • Organisations will have to either create or strengthen cybersecurity policies that encompass remote working, specifically as it relates remote access management (cloud or other).
  • Use of personal devices and equipment will obviously be necessitated by working remotely unless organisations are ready with company-owned devices that employees can take home. Personal devices must be empowered with the same degree of security as an official one.
  • Networks that remote workforce will use must also be considered and accommodated with the security plan.
  • Plans for cybersecurity support, crisis management and incident response for a remote workforce must be created as soon as possible.
  • Disseminating information, updates and training to the workforce will be critical to a sustained remote workforce strategy.

Cybercriminals are now using malware, dressed up as a map that tracks Covid-19 cases, to infect the computers of those trying to keep updated on the pandemic.

Cybersecurity researchers have identified several fake COVID tracker maps that infect people’s computers with malware when opened.

The scheme is one of many ways hackers and scammers are capitalising on people’s fears about coronavirus to spread malware.

A recently discovered weaponized coronavirus map was found to infect victims with a variant of the information-stealing malware.

The malware used in this scam has been identified as AZORult, an information-stealing malicious software discovered back in 2016, which collects information stored in web browsers including passwords, user IDs, browsing histories, cookies and cryptocurrency keys.

A cybersecurity organisation issued a threat analysis report about how the malware was embedded in a file, usually named Corona-virus-Map.com.exe, around 3.26MB in size.

Double-clicking the file opens a map that displays the virus’ spread, similar to one hosted by US-based Johns Hopkins University, a recognised source for visualising and tracking coronavirus cases in real-time.

The data in the bogus map is picked up from the Johns Hopkins University one, though the original map hosted the university is not infected and safe to visit.

The acquired data allows cybercriminals to steal credit card numbers, login credentials and other sensitive information.

Cyber attackers are exploiting the massive (and often un-verified) demand for coronavirus-related resources on the web and continue to exploit the dire need for information surrounding the novel coronavirus.

In the desire to be updated and help others get timely information during the pandemic, unwary netizens must employ the caution not only offline but also online. Cybersecurity experts urge users to be cautious when downloading files online.

A senior member of the cybersecurity community said that the Coronavirus is a formidable and fairly unprecedented opportunity to trick panicking people amid the global havoc and mayhem. In light of the spiralling uncertainty and fake news, even experienced cybersecurity professionals may get scammed.

Organisations should urgently consider implement and promulgate a clear, centralised and consistent internal process to communicate all the events and precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Corporate cybersecurity and security awareness should constitute an invaluable part of such communications, as cybercriminals are profiteering from obscurity and uncertainty.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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