<— Back

COVID-19 and Cyber Security: Side Effects or Business as Usual?

13:35 – 14:05(SGT) Thursday 3 December, 2020

Covid-19 made the world stand still and we really did not see that coming. Rather quickly, the majority of companies, forced or volunteered, had to let their employees work from home. It looked as a futuristic scenario from a science fiction B-movie. These “hypothetical” changes in our lives nobody has thought of before, the new normal, just happened and surrounded with many cyber problems. It is completely different and new suddenly having an enforced Home Office, where different criteria are applicable. How about secure connections (VPN)? What about the security of private systems that we use to do business work on? How are the employees safeguarded against cyber attacks? Cyber security is suddenly enclosing topics that where laughed at by the public when presented at security conferences.

Eddy and Righard take you on a tour of emerged cyber security issues that surfaced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will also peek into the future as during post-pandemic times people return to their offices. Then different issues emerge again. Learning brings knowledge, with knowledge you can prevent, and prevention is better than cure.

Righard Zwienenberg


Zwienenberg started dealing with computer viruses in 1988 after encountering the first virus problems at the Technical University of Delft. His interest thus kindled and studied virus behavior and presented solutions and detection schemes ever since. Initially starting as an independent consultant, in 1991 he co-founded CSE Ltd. In November 1995 Zwienenberg joined the Research and Development department of ThunderBYTE. In 1998 he joined the Norman Development team to work on the scanner engine. In 2005 Zwienenberg took the role of Chief Research Officer. After AMTSO – Anti Malware Testing Standards Organization – was formed, Zwienenberg was elected as president. He is serving on the board of AVAR and on the Technical Overview Board of the WildList. In 2011 Zwienenberg was looking for new opportunities and started as a Senior Research Fellow at ESET. In April 2012 Zwienenberg stepped down as President of AMTSO to take the role as CTO and later as CEO. In 2016 he rejoined the AMTSO board for another two-year run. He also is the Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of IEEE ICSG. In 2018, Zwienenberg joined the Europol European Cyber Crime Center (EC3) Advisory Group as an ESET representative.
Zwienenberg has been a member of CARO since late 1991. He is a frequent speaker at conferences – among these Virus Bulletin, EICAR, AVAR, RSA, InfoSec, SANS, CFET, ISOI, SANS Security Summits, IP Expo, Government Symposia, SCADA seminars, etc. – and general security seminars. His interests are not limited to malicious code but have broadened to include general cybersecurity issues and encryption technologies over the past years.

Eddy Willems


Eddy Willems, from Belgium, is a well-known expert in security and malware. Currently he is a board member of 3 security industry organizations – EICAR (formerly the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research), LSEC (Leaders in Security) and AVAR (Association of Anti-Virus Asia Researchers) – , Global Security Officer and the resident Security Evangelist at G DATA CyberDefense AG. He studied Computer Science at IHB and VUB and started working as a Systems Analyst in 1984. He became a founding member of EICAR, one of the world’s first IT security organizations, in 1991. In previous years he was active as an anti-malware technology expert for other security companies like Kaspersky Lab. In his current role, he gives presentations and seminars all over the world. Several CERTs, press agencies, print and online publications and broadcasting media, for example CNN, use his advice regularly. In 2013, he published his first book in Belgium and the Netherlands, titled ‘Cybergevaar’ (Lannoo). In 2015 an updated version, ‘Cybergefahr’ (Springer), was published in German-speaking countries. An updated and expanded English edition, ‘Cyberdanger’ (Springer), was launched in 2019 worldwide. He is also co-author of the Dutch SF cyberthriller ‘Het Virus’ published in 2020.

Sponsors and Supporting Organizations

Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Networking Lounge Sponsor

Supporting Organization

Associate Sponsors