As people, businesses and communities navigate the global pandemic, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in the way we live and work. From remote working to online classrooms and conferences to staying in touch with loved ones, virtual environments continue to help people and businesses stay connected.

However, from a cybersecurity standpoint, these increased virtual interactions have increased vulnerability to threat actors. In response, our security experts volunteer their expertise and time to better protect people, businesses and communities against cyber threats.

Below, we highlight a few examples from our operations around the world.

Safeguarding hospitals and rehabilitating young cyber offenders in the Netherlands

At the onset of the pandemic, many healthcare institutions and providers faced the additional challenge of increased cyber attacks designed to compromise patient data and disrupt care. Our security experts in the Netherlands joined the coalition “We Help Hospitals” to assist Dutch healthcare institutions in safeguarding themselves against ransomware, phishing and other cyber attacks. As part of the initiative, our consultants volunteered 100 hours of consultancy and technical expertise to Dutch hospitals to help improve their cybersecurity posture and defend against threat actors. The coalition also developed a website that offers emergency access to CGI’s cyber expert volunteers.

In addition, since 2018, we have partnered with the Dutch National Police and the National Public Prosecutor on Hack_Right — a mentorship program to help rehabilitate juvenile cyber offenders, aged 12 to 18. Our professionals mentor individuals on topics such as cybercrime laws, cybersecurity challenges, the impact of cyber offences on victims and how to use their security skills for the benefit of society.

Protecting students, teachers and families in Finland

To support continuity in education during the pandemic, many schools and educational institutions moved to remote learning. As teachers and students engage in online learning, they need to ensure their privacy and safety on the Internet. CGI members in Finland offer virtual cybersecurity awareness lessons for parents, teachers and students. To make learning fun, they created a mobile game to help participants understand basic security practices, including the importance of protecting privacy, creating strong passwords, updating systems and navigating social media. Titled “Spoofy,” the cyber game turns children into cybersecurity heroes who help solve digital challenges in four different real life-based environments such as home and school.

Securing businesses in Canada

Business and IT leaders have increased their vigilance to mitigate risks of cyber attacks aimed at remote workers. To help address these concerns, in April 2020, we collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal Metropolitan (CCMM) to present a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity. The webinar provided an in-depth look at increased security threats, including phishing, ransomware, fraudulent sites and applications, and offered solutions for each threat. It also included a guide on the “7 golden rules to meet the challenges of COVID-19,” developed by our cybersecurity experts in Canada.