The Transition to Remote Employment Raised More Cybersecurity Concerns Than Any Attack

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When it comes to cybersecurity, we’ve taken a deep dive into the subjects that have been trending on both the Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites. We discovered a variety of findings, some of which were unexpected and others that were not. It’s worth having a look.

Activity spikes around major breaches

Security-related behavior on the public platform was linked to big breaches until recently. Questions about cybersecurity were raised after some of the most high-profile incidents in internet history.

Following the Sony and Target data breaches in 2011, Stack Overflow and the Information Security Stack Exchange increased inquiries and new users. Questions and new users increased again on the Information Security Stack Exchange in 2014 after eBay and Home Depot hacks made news. The largest spike in inquiries and new users on the Information Security Stack Exchange occurred shortly after Yahoo! exposed its 2013 hack in 2016, followed by another bigger incident at the end of the same year.

The pandemic trumps any breach

Remote employment has had a worldwide influence on security that outweighs the impact of one-off occurrences. In 2020, the upward tendency in the number of questions and new users after a security event was rectified. At the start of 2020, Stack Overflow observed an undeniable rise in pandemic-related queries about authentication due to the move to remote work, which triggered a 60% surge in questions. At the beginning of lockdown, there were more security-related queries than any year in Stack Overflow’s history.

The most often asked questions from developers are about exploited vulnerabilities.

As the number of exploited vulnerabilities breaches rises, so are the number of security-related concerns. When a breach occurs because of a software vulnerability, cybersecurity concerns are raised within the developer community. After a breach, it’s reasonable to want to make sure you’re not next, but you’re not sure where to start. Go to Stack Overflow right now!

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Recent high-profile security lapses have been linked to increased security-related inquiries and new users on Stack Overflow. The most often asked inquiries about exploited software vulnerabilities come from developers on the public platform. There were more queries than ever before on dealing with the epidemic and remote working after its start on Stack Overflow.

Even if the fight against threat actors will never end, there is some good news from this. We see the implementation of a learning culture. During the transition to remote work, engineers only responded to breaches to proactively secure everyone. The Stack Overflow community raises questions and seeks solutions when a security event occurs. As we all know, asking a question is the first step in any learning phase.