• Indexed in

  • Latest News

    June 28, 2023
    Volume 12, Issue 1 of the International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime was published
    December 29, 2022
    Volume 11, Issue 2 of the International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime was published
    June 28, 2022
    Volume 11, Issue 1 of the International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime was published
  • --- More News ---
  • Popular Articles

  • Editorial: Cybersecurity and Pandemic Crisis

    Author(s): BACIVAROV, Ioan
    Issue: Volume 10, Issue 1, Year 2021

    Download PDF | Views: 108

    1. In early 2020, an unprecedented crisis for modern times has hit all of humanity and brought about huge changes – from lifestyle to doing business: it was the pandemic due to Covid-19.

    As mentioned a recent UN document [1], we are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations – one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives. But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human, economic and social crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is attacking societies at their core.

    The Covid-19 pandemic generated a social and an economic crisis, as important as the one at the level of health, through its important consequences worldwide.

    From school closures to devastated industries and millions of jobs lost – the social and economic costs of the pandemic are many and varied [2].

    As mentioned above, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been broad, affecting general society, economy, culture, ecology, politics, and other areas [3].

    In this Editorial, some effects of the pandemic on cyber-security will be analyzed.


    2. Of course, the ways in which the coronavirus pandemic crisis has affected the cyber security of companies and their employees are multiple.

    These have been the subject of several studies conducted in the last year by companies and experts specializing in cybersecurity, [4]…[7], for example.

    This is not the place for a detailed analysis of them. However, we will highlight some aspects that we think are important.

    The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for businesses as they adapt to an operating model in which working from home has become the “new normal”.

    Companies were forced to accelerate their digital transformation, and cybersecurity became a major concern. The great majority of companies have realized that the reputational, operational, legal and compliance implications could be considerable if cybersecurity risks are neglected.

    The restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic have encouraged employees to work from home. Consequently, technology has become even more important in both our working and personal lives. However, it is found that many organizations still do not provide a “cyber-safe” remote-working environment.


    3. According to [4], in the last year a diverse cyber threat landscape appeared the eyes of experts, including:

    Statistics prove that most of these threats intensified during the pandemic, firstly because working from home does not guarantee the same level of cybersecurity as an office environment.

    It is obvious that a home working environment does not have sophisticated enterprise prevention and detection measures; furthermore, home Wi-Fi networks are much easier to attack.

    As I already mentioned in a previous paper [8], it is important to underline that while organizations continue to purchase and deploy technical controls, not much has been done to focus on the human side of cybersecurity – so named layer 8.

    The term layer 8 is often used by the IT professionals to refer to employees’ lack of awareness and a weak overall cybersecurity culture. Today, it is just as important to secure human assets – layer 8 – as it to secure layers 1 through 7.

    Even prior to the pandemic, human error was already a major cause of “cyber insecurity”. With home working, however, the problem became even greater. IT systems need to adapt to these changes in working practices and the increase in human error. This can be accomplished in many ways such as incorporating time-outs in key information systems, enhancing controls to apply the “four-eyes principle”, enforcing segregation of duties (SOD) or automated controls [4].


    4. Under the new conditions generated by the pandemic crisis, employees working from home (using their personal or even corporate-owned computers) must implement the essential cyber-security practices, including: antivirus protection; cybersecurity awareness; phishing awareness; home network security; using Virtual Private Networks (VPN); frequent reviews, etc.

    Additionally, the companies should identify the security weaknesses of its IT systems using appropriate tests (such as penetration tests), vulnerability scanning a.o. Managers need to keep their business continuity and crisis plans updated and consider cyberattack scenarios.

    More advanced measures, such as those based on Intelligence and Risk management techniques should be considered. IT managers should encourage proactive use of cyber threat intelligence to identify relevant indicators of attacks (IOC) and address known attacks. Businesses can apply governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions for improved risk management [4], [8].


    5. In the face of rising threats from malware, phishing and high-tech threat actors, a cyber resilient company can position itself as a secure model for data protection customers can trust.

    Cyber resilience is the measure of an enterprise’s ability to continue with working as normal while it attempts to prevent, detect, control and recover from threats against its data and IT infrastructure [6]. The lessons learned during the pandemic crisis demonstrated that without implementing cyber resilience, without a strong cybersecurity framework, companies are vulnerable and open to cyber-attacks.


    6. In the special context generated by the current Covid-19 pandemic, when most activities have moved online, is of crucial importance for all the specialists, professional organizations and companies to develop and consolidate a powerful “cybersecurity culture”, adapted to the new context. That’s why, this was also the main objective – in the last period – of the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA), as the main organization meant to spread the cyber-security culture in Romania.

    Among the RAISA activities aimed meant to consolidate the culture of cybersecurity in our country, we can mention the following ones:

    Organization of several RAISA workshops, dedicated especially to young researchers, engineers, MSc and PhD students in IT field (especially in cybersecurity), who analyzed the challenges and implications in the field of cybersecurity, in the context of the crisis generated by the coronavirus.

    * C. Ciuchi, I.C. Mihai, G. Petrică a.o., Cybersecurity guide, 2021, ISBN 978-973-0-33645-0, electronic edition, DOI: 10.19107/CYBERSEC.2021.EN

    ** G. Petrică, S.D. Axinte, I.C. Bacivarov, Dependability of information systems, Matrix Rom, 2019, ISBN 978-606-25-0529-5

    *** I.C. Mihai, C. Ciuchi, G. Petrică (editors), Cybersecurity – Challenges and perspectives in education, Academica Greifswald, 2020, ISBN 978-3-940237-26-2, DOI: 10.19107/CYBERSEC-EDU.2020.EN



    [1]. https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/everyone-included-covid-19.html (accessed May 1st, 2021).
    [2]. https://wellcome.org/news/equality-global-poverty-how-covid-19-affecting-societies-and-economies (accessed May 10th, 2021).
    [3]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_impact_of_the_COVID-19_pandemic (accessed May 15, 2021).
    [4]. https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/risk/articles/impact-covid-cybersecurity.html (accessed May 15th, 2021).
    [5]. https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/pandemic-year-in-infosec/39123/ (accessed May 15th, 2021).
    [6]. https://securityintelligence.com/articles/how-to-create-a-cybersecurity-framework/ (accessed May 20th, 2021).
    [7]. https://orangecyberdefense.com/global/white-papers/covid-19-a-biological-hazard-goes-digital/ (accessed May 20th, 2021).
    [8]. I. Bacivarov, Editorial: RAISA and IJISC – 5 Years in the Service of Cybersecurity Culture Dissemination, International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime, vol. 6 (2017), no. 1, pp. 9-12.

    Additional Information

    Title: Editorial: Cybersecurity and Pandemic Crisis
    Author(s): BACIVAROV, Ioan
    Publication: International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime
    ISSN: 2285-9225, e-ISSN: 2286-0096
    Issue: Volume 10, Issue 1, Year 2021
    Page Range: 7-10

    Copyright ©2012-2023
    The International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime (IJISC)

    All rights reserved
    The International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime is a trademark of the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA).
    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, photocopied, recorded or archived, without the written permission from RAISA. When authors submit their papers for publication, they agree that the copyright for their article be transferred to the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance, if the articles are accepted for publication. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints and translations.