Pandemic Increases the Importance of Cyber Security

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TAMPA, Fla. — The pandemic has forced the entire world to rely heavily on their region’s transportation infrastructure — both the physical and virtual.

It’s increased the importance of cyber security as the world moves from offices to homes.

And the Tampa Bay area is not immune to these threats.

On February 8, an unknown hacker infiltrated Oldmar’s water treatment plant and made potentially dangerous changes to chemical levels in the water.

Now, the people who fight these threats are seeing seismic shifts in how the job is done.

Chris Grove is a Tampa Bay area resident and a Technology Evangelist for Nozomi Networks.

Nozomi Networks uses artificial intelligence to protect the security of critical infrastructure.

He’s been hooked on technology as long as he can remember, recalling his first encounter with Parker Bother’s Merlin, a 1978 handheld electronic game.

And it’s taken him around the world for the last decade, fighting cyber criminals, helping companies, and governments.

“So before Covid-19, I traveled between 100,000 to 200,00 miles a year, sometimes three continents in one week, sometimes all the way to Australia for a one-hour meeting,” said Grove. “Today my commute exists of the bedroom to the kitchen and then to my computer, which is a total of 50 feet.”

Grove and his “Road Warrior” counterparts have seen a rise in productivity as their heavy travel schedules turned into virtual sessions and remote work.

When regular international travel resumes, Grove says look for companies to send smaller groups on much fewer trips.

“I’m pretty sure that this is forever changed the landscape of business travel,” said Grove.

For the last year, Virginia Johnson has been talking to people about their life in the time of coronavirus.