As employees began working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, cybercriminals found new opportunities to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and data. And that has led to more business for local companies that focus on cybersecurity, especially since what was initially thought to be a short-term solution has extended for months, officials said.
“We have definitely seen, along with most of our counterparts in the cybersecurity industry, a big increase in both the number of security incidents that need to be investigated and attempts to compromise the security of companies,” said Randy Pargman, senior director of threat hunting and counterintelligence at Binary Defense in Stow, which provides cybersecurity defense for organizations. “I think it is very clear that those are related to the pandemic situation.”
Christopher Hartley, director of cybersecurity at Sikich LLP, a professional services firm in Akron; Damon Hacker, president and CEO of Vestige Digital Investigations, a Medina company specializing in digital forensics and cybersecurity; and Pargman said their firms have been contacted by small and large companies in all sectors, including government, law and manufacturing.
Some of their businesses have hired more staff, but all are adding clients, many who never imagined their information could be in jeopardy.
Binary Defense, which employs 97, has added 15 people in 2020, Pargman said. And even faced with challenges of the pandemic, the company experienced strong growth, he added.
Vestige has added two people this year, bringing its staff to 16 in town, Hacker said. Business is up just under 30% year over year from 2019, he said.
Sikich employs about 35 on its cybersecurity team, and Hartley said its work requests have been steady and even ticking upward as clients return to their offices.
Here’s what the experts said are the primary cybersecurity issues they have handled during COVID-19: