Cybercriminals Refuse to Let This Crisis to Go to Waste

Businesses have been forced to embrace remote work, individuals are feeling a high degree of uncertainty, and cybercriminals aren’t letting this opportunity go to waste…

We’re living through unprecedented times right now, and as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all had to adjust to new ways of staying connected, working, and overall living. Over the past few months, there’s been an influx of businesses embracing remote work to continue operations despite lockdowns. Naturally, many individuals are feeling some degree of fear and uncertainty during this difficult, trying time. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the influx of remote work alongside the increase in fear and uncertainty. They’re launching more cyber-attacks than ever before.

COVID 19 Cybercrime Ottawa

Keep an eye out for phishing attacks and other malicious threats taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic…

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has reported an increase of malicious behavior in terms of the coronavirus pandemic being used in phishing campaigns and malware scams. Essentially, cybercriminals know that a simple mention of “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” will instantly get attention. While this isn’t the first time cybercriminals have used national or global headlines to their advantage, it’s essential to keep an eye out as we’re also at a disadvantage due to the influx of remote workers.

Although there are significant benefits to working remotely, there’s one major disadvantage: remote work tends to be less secure. Why? Because employees tend to lack enterprise-grade security measures on their home computers:

  • Firewalls
  • Endpoint Protection
  • Antivirus software
  • Encryption
  • Intrusion prevention systems
  • And much more

Plus, many employees will be working on computers that are outdated and antiquated, and in some cases, running operating systems that are not supported by the manufacturer, such as Windows XP. This creates an even greater risk as more vulnerabilities are open for cybercriminals to exploit.

A look at the most common ways cybercriminals are tricking unsuspecting victims right now…

The best way to protect against cybercrime is to be aware of the current tactics out there. Cybercriminals are tricking unsuspecting victims with the following:

  • Phishing attacks wherein they claim to be from the WHO, CDC, or other governmental agency – offering information, updates, or alerts about the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Phony domains wherein a website is set up to appear as a video conferencing software company, governmental agency, or news source – offering downloads for software or more details on the pandemic.
  • Phishing attacks wherein they claim to be purchase orders or delivery details for masks, sanitizer, and other safety materials and products that have been ordered by the organization the victim works for.

Our recommendations to keep your remote workers safe, despite the increase in malicious behaviour…

Here are our recommendations for remote workers looking to stay safe against all types of threats:

  1. Use up-to-date devices: Remote workers should use devices that are up-to-date and running a supported operating system. Organizations should consider providing corporate-owned devices for the time being.
  2. Implement an endpoint security solution: Remote devices, including laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, present a massive risk to the corporate network upon access. Endpoint protection protects all entry points against security threats.
  3. Install enterprise-grade antivirus software: Remote workers should have enterprise-grade antivirus software installed onto their devices, including laptops and desktops.
  4. Take advantage of multi-factor authentication: Remote workers should only use authorized remote access or cloud services, and when possible, turn on multi-factor authentication as an added layer of protection.
  5. Follow the principle of least privilege: Remote workers should only have access to the data they need to do their jobs. Grant the minimum permissions required and nothing more.

Need assistance keeping your remote workers safe against cybercriminals taking advantage of the current situation at hand? Get in touch with us via the chat box anytime.

Published On: 15th May 2020 by Ernie Sherman.