Extreme increase in cyber-attacks in Spain since corona pandemic

by Lorraine Williamson
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MALAGA – The corona pandemic does not only affect health and social well-being. An extreme increase in cyber-attacks crime has also been shown by Covid-19. Spanish and international companies turned out to be very vulnerable to hackers in 2020, resulting in millions of claims. 

Not only Spain is affected, companies all over the world are reporting an increase in these types of attacks of an average of 25%. Spanish news site La Vanguardia wrote on Monday that Spain’s National Cyber ​​Security Institute registered 130,000 reports of cybercrime last year, an increase of 24% from 2019. 

Who are the hackers and where do they come from? 

Companies such as McAffee and Interpol answer that they are increasingly professional groups, many of which are active in Russia and China. Many of these groups focus on American companies, but European countries such as Spain are certainly not skipped. 

Sky high costs after cyber-attacks 

Companies in the financial sector in particular are the most frequent victims of cybercrime. Simply because this is where the most money can be obtained. According to McAffee, cyber-attacks cost companies around the world $945 billion last year, more than $400 billion more than in 2019. The cost to Spain in 2020 was estimated at €40million according to insurance comparator Acierto. 

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What does the pandemic have to do with the increase in cyber-attacks? 

The question why this situation has been exacerbated by the corona pandemic is quite simple to answer. Businesses failed to respond to massive home working, and this created numerous security holes. Hackers saw their opportunity to take advantage of unwitting people working at home.

Spain hugely vulnerable to cyber-attacks 

According to insurance comparator Hiscox, Spanish companies were the most frequently victims of cybercrime in 2020. More than half of the companies surveyed in Spain were found to have been affected. A well-known example of this in Spain is the SEPE. Following these attacks, the government of Spain announced on April 9 that it would invest €4.6billion over the next three years for additional network security in Spain. Google also announced earlier this year that it would invest in Spain for this purpose. 

Security companies have said, human actions are often the cause of many successful cyber-attacks. For example, employees who click on a link in an email and inattentiveness while shopping online are increasingly leading to hackers being allowed in. 

Expert advice 

Achieving 100% technological safety in companies does not exist according to experts. The most common advice is to make copies of files and systems on external drives, not to keep data unnecessarily long and to train employees to recognise cybercrime. 

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