Cybersecurity risks grow amid COVID-19 pandemic
As schools send home students and many businesses move to having some or all their staff “working from home” in a bid to do their part to curb the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), cybercriminals will seek to take advantage of this new situation.
With many people hungry for updates on COVID-19 and are ready to click on anything that seems legitimate, scammers are sending out coronavirus themed Malware and Business email compromise (BEC) attacks which has the appearance that they are coming from official sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued warnings to be wary of cybercriminals who pretend to be them (spoofing).
Many Teleworking Risks exist
Many organizations have a range of IT Security technologies in place to protect them from cyberattacks, but when users start to work from home, the risks are increased. Attackers will be doing their very best to exploit risks related to the type of technologies that are used for remote work.
Another contributing factor to this risk is the type of equipment that you are using, is it owned by you or is it owned by the company. Are you the only one using this computer at home or is your child who is also at home with you using it to do homework or more worrying play games or do TikToks? While you might have done the Cybersecurity Awareness Training that you are required to do, your child is more prone to click on enticing looking links. Depending on how you connect to your office, you can put the entire organization at risk.
Sadly, many companies are still using stolen, “cracked” or unlicensed software to run their business. As a result of this, many of these are not updated with the relevant security patches. Cybercriminals know these weaknesses and one click on the wrong link can bring your organization to its knees.
Forward, Forward, share, share !! NOT
Let’s be honest, if you are not used to remote work from home, the distractions are numerous. One of the biggest distractions are mobile instant messaging Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer a quick and easy way to stay in touch with friends and family, but they are also used to spread rumours, half-truths and fake news instantly. I am now begging folks in many of the WhatsApp groups that I am in not to forward links, images and content without first verifying that it is legitimate and is of real value to the group. If you don’t have the time to verify the claim, then don’t share or forward it to anyone. Cybercriminals use malware to steal data from our mobile devices also. The fear and anxiety around COVID-19 provides a tremendous opportunity to hack our devices.
Tips to protect you and your company
- Multi-factor authentication should be enabled and utilized to get access to all company assets.
- Your computer or mobile device needs to be updated with all the latest security patches
- Security Polices should be enabled to require safer passwords and also to block unauthorised devices from being plugged into your device.
- Don’t share your company issued mobile device
- Have your IT Security partner do a dark web search to ensure that none of your account access credentials have been posted. If you don’t have an IT Security partner you can contact tTech Limited at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Encrypt the data on your devices and also virtual private network (VPN) traffic.
- Education is more important than ever, ensure that a cybersecurity training program is in place for everyone. This helps you to learn about data security, email attacks and it helps you to better recognize what are legitimate links and what are not.
- Take a chill pill from instant messaging on your mobile device. Turn off notifications on your devices. It will reduce stress and anxiety.
Some schools are now conducting classes with applications like Google Classroom, some parents are now at home working remotely, this means that you need to have internet access at home and it needs to be somewhat stable.
This will be the new normal for a while, it is not going away anytime soon, here is why:
In a recent blog post titled Exponential Implications: Coronavirus, executive founder of Singularity University and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation Peter H. Diamandis says “ Given the asymptomatic latency period between the time a person is infected and the time that they show symptoms (which may be as little as 5 days or up to 14), ….., we are likely to see significant exponential growth rates in the early days of an outbreak until “herd immunity” can be established. (Note: Herd Immunity occurs when enough people have been infected and then recover, making them immune to being re-infected and infecting others in their community.)”
Stay Safe & healthy!
Christopher Reckord is the CEO for Managed IT Service Provider tTech Limited. To learn how tTech helps organizations and give them IT Peace of mind email email@example.com
Or call us today at 656-8448/8469 for more information.