The Similarities Between a Pandemic and Cybersecurity

by | Oct 22, 2020 | Uncategorized

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There is no way to guarantee nature and avert any and every crisis from happening. When the World Health Organization announced a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, the world was not prepared. Little did we know as we went about our daily routines last year that our lives would be completely different in a matter of months. The fact is, most of us go about our daily lives giving little thought to the possibility of a pandemic striking our nation. Instead, we simply trust that the Center for Disease Control would quickly get a handle on any foreign virus or illness. We soon found out that the unpredictable can and does happen and the world was not fully prepared for a pandemic like COVID-19. Although the CDC knew the possibility existed, they had no idea that a pandemic would sweep across the globe and affect our society to the extent that it has. The same is true for security breaches and cyberattacks. We are well aware that cyber threats are out there, but it is impossible to detect every single threat that exists. 

Just as the CDC is devoted to preparing and planning for an outbreak, there are still variables and unknowns that are impossible to predict. Similarly, the National Security Agency is responsible for protecting our businesses and society from cyberattacks, but there are still unknowns and cyber threats we don’t even know exist. The NSA prepares for and implements security controls over known vulnerabilities, but it’s the unknowns that create the challenge for cybersecurity. 

At the time coronavirus was discovered, experts assumed that it was contained in just a few Asian countries. Therefore, several countries immediately implemented a travel ban, restricting entry for people who had visited those countries. We soon came to find out, however, that the discovery of the virus was too late, as it had already spread across the globe. Similarly, when a cyber attack happens, immediate measures are taken to stop the attack. However, it’s usually late into the investigation that we discover the true extent of infiltration, risk exposure, and effects on the organization’s infrastructure. It is these unknowns that pose the real challenge to cybersecurity and prevent businesses and organizations from immunity. 

Another challenge that is similar between a pandemic and cybersecurity threats is how quickly they can both spread across the globe. A virus knows no boundaries and can easily follow someone on a plane and travel across the world in a short period of time. The same is true for cyber threats. In a world where digital technology is constantly changing and evolving, today’s organizations are at a greater risk of exposure due to their global digital footprint. This begs the question, “ Given today’s digital landscape, how can we protect ourselves and build defenses against these cyber unknowns?” 

The key to preparing a digital defense is building cyber resilience within our businesses. Cyber resilience refers to a business’s ability to prepare for, respond to, adapt to, and recover from a security breach or cyber attack. This ensures there is a definitive plan in place should a cyber attack occur and helps to minimize the effects. While preparation is the first step, it is equally important for businesses to learn to adapt to an ever-evolving threat landscape and predict the unknowns. It’s no longer enough to simply be proactive about cyber threats- we need to be adaptive and predictive. 

Your business is important and that’s why it’s recommended to work with a trusted cyber security partner like Contextual Security. We offer a personal, customized plan to help your business navigate cyber threats and we are committed to helping you develop a plan that fits your needs and budget. To learn more about our services, check us out at or call and speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives 844-526-6732. You can also email us with any questions at [email protected]