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COVID-19 cybersecurity risks. COVID-19 cybersecurity risks. (Source: Shutterstock)

The unplanned pivot to an expanded remote workforce compelled the financial sector (and many other verticals) to rapidly deploy infrastructure, hardware, software and support changes that may not have undergone rigorous configuration controls that would have otherwise occurred under normal circumstances. Most financial institutions, especially credit unions and smaller banks, don’t embark on this level of change all at once, if at all, and as a result, their attack surface expanded, leaving IT professionals to struggle with visibility into remote devices and home networks that have introduced potential vulnerable blind spots.

Malicious attackers quickly exploited this transition and continue to capitalize on the uncertainty and precarious “new normal” through phishing and malware campaigns, targeting widely-used products and platforms that connect remote workers. The hasty deployments last spring meant that many VPNs and cloud-based collaboration tools were deployed without the latest patches, leaving those vulnerabilities open for exploitation.

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