CYBER-ATTACKERS are seen to target coronavirus vaccine manufacturers and firms involved in the distribution beginning next year, internet security firm Kaspersky said.

“The coronavirus vaccine is going to make a major change in our lives starting next year, and it will have its own effects on the cyberspace,” Vitaly Kamluk, director of Kaspersky-Asia Pacific’s global research and analysis team, said at Kaspersky’s Cybersecurity Weekend virtual media forum on Tuesday.

He added, “We see that cyber-attackers will focus on either impersonating the vaccine manufacturers or attacking them, trying to destroy their digital reputation for competitive purposes.”

As for the logistics firms involved in the distribution of the vaccines, Mr. Kamluk said they will also be more vulnerable to cyber attacks, as cybersecurity “is not one of their strongest sides.”

“But with their involvement in the distribution of the vaccines, things can change,” he noted.

He said coronavirus vaccine makers, distributors, and logistics firms “should pay attention to cybersecurity now.”

“They should prepare before the distribution starts by installing security products and by briefing their personnel that things like this may come, so they should not trust every party that contacts them,” he explained.

Kaspersky said businesses should protect their digital reputation, as “five in 10” internet users in the Asia-Pacific region, based on its latest study, “avoid companies who were involved in a scandal or had received negative news coverage online.”

It added that “four in 10” had “stopped using a company’s or brand’s products once they were embroiled in some kind of crisis online.” — Arjay L. Balinbin