COVID-19 Cybersecurity Threats You Need to Know

| April 15, 2020

While the rest of us are focused on mitigating the real-world virus to protect ourselves, our families, and those who are most vulnerable, hackers and cybercriminals are actively trying to take advantage of people and businesses. 

Here are a few of the top cybersecurity threats that you need to be aware of as cybercrime ramps up during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Email security scams and phishing attacks are increasing. 

Email scams targeting personal, financial, and secure business information are growing daily. These can be some of the most difficult cybersecurity threats to self-detect, and they tend to be the most malicious. Scams like these are much like COVID-19, in that they target the most vulnerable in our society. They often falsely appear as if trying to be helpful or provide assistance during these difficult times, so seniors or small and medium-sized businesses without the proper security protections in place tend to fall prey to these attacks.  

Email security solutions can scan, detect, remove, and can even prevent dangerous emails from ever appearing in your employee’s inbox. Your IT provider should be proactively recommending and implementing increased email and cybersecurity measures, comprehensive backup and disaster recovery planning, as well as ensuring your cybersecurity protections are up-to-date. Most importantly, during this time, only provide your personal, financial, or other business information to sources that you already know and trust. 

Computer viruses are wreaking havoc on devices and networks. 

While our collective attention is focused on COVID-19, and while businesses and workers are transitioning to remote and often unsecured ways of working, cybercriminals are tirelessly hitting computers and networks through malicious email attachments, downloads, and links. These attacks will appear as if this is legitimate communication or an official website for a business, agency, or charity. In reality, they contain everything from spyware to straight-up attacks to cause catastrophic network and connectivity failures.  

You need to enforce company-wide policies against downloading or clicking on any unsecured downloads or links. Take extra caution with who and how you are communicating outside of your teams. A sophisticated attack could take down your online infrastructure and paralyze or otherwise compromise your business operations. Additionally, ensure your IT provider is arming you with the appropriate endpoint protection, which scans devices and protects them from incoming and future attacks. 

Password theft is prevalent. 

Even when a remote device appears to be in the protection of your own home, it can still be completely exposed to cybercriminals. Malware that is secretively installed, through emails or websites, can capture every keystroke a user types into their device or computer, including passwords.  

Employees must secure their home Wi-Fi router and ensure that it is not open to the public. When their router is open to the public, anyone can access every Wi-Fi-enabled device in their home. Reach out to your IT provider or our team at Concensus to create easy-to-implement solutions, such as firewalls, for your employees to secure their home devices and networks while working from home.  

Our team of experts can help you secure your business and your employees’ remote workspaces from the onslaught of cyberattacks as we cope with this pandemic. We’re here for you. 

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