Facts and Findings

The impact of COVID-19 on cyber crime and state-sponsored cyber activities

by Johannes Wiggen

Increased internet use and working from home heighten digital security risks

Digital services are becoming particularly important in the Corona crisis - after all apps and digital services are indispensable for working from home. However, cyber security is often disregarded. Especially private networks are less well protected than networks at work. How can cyber threats be dealt with in Corona times? Our Facts & Findings takes a closer look at the digital security aspect of the Corona pandemic.

- Through the increased use of digital applications and the use of poorly protected private IT devices when working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates digital security risks and highlights the need for taking adequate action to protect IT systems in critical infrastructures.

- Cyber crime is currently benefitting from a sense of insecurity in the population and people‘s need for information.

- States are increasingly using cyber espionage in order to gain information on measures for fighting the corona virus, potential vaccines and treatment options.

- Cyber risks can only be reduced to an acceptable level by implementing a set of actions: in terms of cyber crime, for example, programs for education, prevention and digital literacy must be strengthened and the resources of law enforcement agencies to prevent and investigate cyber crime must be enhanced by targeted recruitment of young staff; state-sponsored cyber activities should be addressed by imposing political and economic sanctions or bringing legal charges against countries as well as through cyber diplomacy.


You can download the complete analysis as pdf


Johannes Wiggen

Johannes Wiggen


johannes.wiggen@kas.de +49 30 26996 -3934