Cyber insecurity in the wake of COVID-19: a reappraisal of impacts and global experience within the context of routine activity theory
Keywords:COVID-19, cyber attacker, cybercriminal, cyber insecurity, cyberspace, impacts and global experience, routine activity theory (RAT)
Shortly after the enthronement of COVID-19 on the global continent, cyberspace became a dominant arena for social, economic, religious, educational, recreational and political activities across the world. This paper draws insights from the existing literature to illustrate how COVID-19 has provided situational opportunities for cyber criminals to strike and exploit people of their valuable resources through creating fraudulent websites as well as spreading of malware and ransomware to vulnerable users. To this end, routine activity theory becomes very dominant and crucial in understanding the underlying basis for the increased cybercrimes that currently characterize the cyber space. The study demonstrates that the twin phenomenon of coronavirus and cyber insecurity has not only instilled fears into the hearts of cyber users but has also negatively impacted the global economy in various ways that cannot be quantified by any study. Since all measures put in place to contain the threats of the horrible virus, have, hitherto, remained counterproductive, the paper recommends essential cyber hygiene practices (such as, antivirus protection, malware and phishing awareness, weak spots identification, intelligent techniques, risk management approach, zero trust design, home network security and general cybersecurity awareness) as a coping strategy to salvage both the public health and security sectors from the twin occurrence of Covid-19 pandemic and cyber insecurity, which has respectively inflicted and claimed millions of lives, and jeopardized significant portions of the global economy. Providing a continued cyber-safe remote-working environment for employees will be of ultimate measure
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