Over the last several weeks there has been a large increase of activity across cyberspace surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and malicious actors trying to take advantage of this unfortunate time we are all living in. With much of our workforce being pushed remote, it poses further risks. With home networks and using work machines being utilized outside of their corporate environment, it is up to the users to be vigilant in reporting concerns or issues. Companies should also be deploying tools to help further secure their information.
There are 6 major ways that attackers are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis:
- Phishing emails
- Malicious apps
- Bad domains
- Insecure endpoints and end users
- Vulnerabilities at vendors and third parties
- Targeting healthcare organizations
Some of the things that can be done to help are:
- Use a VPN
- Be mindful of what websites you go to which may be embedded with malware
- Do not click on any links in emails or open attachments from unknown senders in your email
- Report phishing emails or suspicious contacts to your IT Department or Security Professional
- If you have your work email on your phone, do not download applications unless you know the publisher
- Ensure that vendors or third-parties are also working to secure data transmission and close vulnerabilities
- Keep your machines up to date with the latest patches
There are many other actions that can be taken to protect your information, but it takes a team effort to do it. While some groups have come out and stated they will stop attacking healthcare systems, can we trust them or feel confident others won’t take the opportunity? No, we can’t. We must still be vigilant and report suspicious activity to combat these bad actors.
Is there a positive to all of this? In a way, yes, companies are being forced to enable better cybersecurity practices to ensure information is maintained in their network and outsiders are not able to get in. It is also requiring the users to practice better cyber hygiene while working remote and working with potentially sensitive data. This new practice will set the stage for how the remote workforce will function and progress into our ‘new normal’. In the beginning it has pushed us to new levels, however, in the long run, this will be good for all users and businesses and your cybersecurity.
We here at Global Solutions adopted the remote workforce solution at the inception of the company in May 2013 and we have continued that practice working with our industry partners and we continue to strive for higher security standards to ensure our client data is also protected at the highest levels being a security service provider.