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  • Writer's pictureSean Drake

Stay Cyber Vigilant…the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Order Threats of the COVID19 Pandemic

While we are all being affected by the current COVID19 pandemic, some of the best advice I have heard is that we all just need to do our part, make sacrifices, and to stay home to flatten the curve. I am a big fan of the “flatten the curve” strategy. So, the 1st Level Threat is the virus itself, and trying to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the virus and overwhelming our medical capabilities.

Staying home to flatten the curve to combat the 1st level threat has created a strain on productivity with a loss of work and income. The loss of productivity and the general fear in the financial markets has led to the 2nd Level Threat, which is the downturn in the markets and the effect on the economy. It appears that the administration is stepping in with a strong hand to counteract this 2nd level threat, and we hope that we will see some stabilization in the market place in the coming weeks.

What I wanted to bring to our attention today is the 3rd Level Threat that is a result of Threat #1 and Threat #2; and that is our increased vulnerability to a Cyber Attack. We all need to be aware and vigilant that while we are being distracted by #1 and #2, one of our adversaries or a cyber criminal launches a Cyber Attack while we are most vulnerable. Stony Lonesome Group Cyber Advisor, Maj Gen (Ret) Earl Matthews, former US Air Force CISO, recently stated, “One of my biggest concerns over a significant amount of DOD personnel teleworking is the compromise between convenience and security, which will present a significant cyber threat vector.”

As I mentioned previously, I am a big supporter of the flatten the curve and stay at home and be as productive as possible mindset. What I am suggesting is that we be even more vigilant while teleworking and that we do not get lazy and sacrifice security for convenience.

I hope I am wrong, and we address #1 and #2 to make sure #3 does not become a reality. Everyone just needs to do their part….stay at home, flatten the curve. Buy into the markets- both public & private to stabilize the long-term economic impact and show strength and solidarity. Finally, stay calm and don’t panic….and if your neighbor runs out of toilet paper, sell them a role for $100 to drive up the economy!

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