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Hackers Exploiting Coronavirus

As if you didn’t have enough on your mind, it turns out that hackers aren’t taking any time off during the current pandemic, and as a result COVID-19 isn’t the only virus you need to worry about. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the Department of Homeland Security, is advising Americans to be vigilant to scams related to coronavirus.

Cyber criminals can always be counted on to take advantage of a crisis, and posing as charities in a time of need is a favorite ploy. The difference this time, of course, is that so many businesses have many or all of their employees working remotely. Given that everything happened so quickly, many have not been able to replicate the cybersecurity measures used when workers are on site. Add in the fact that everyone is distracted by all the fast-changing news and you wind up with an environment offering a lot more gaps for hackers to exploit.

Your first and best line of defense is communication: make sure all your team members are aware of these new threats, and remind everyone to be even more vigilant than usual. In general, that vigilance should take the same form as it would at any other time:

  • Avoid clicking links in unsolicited emails and be especially wary of any attachments.
  • Seek out only trusted sources, like cdc.gov, for current information on COVID-19.
  • Never share personal or financial information via email, even if the sender seems legitimate. Don’t even respond to emails that ask.
  • Be especially careful with emails purporting to be from charitable organizations. If in doubt, navigate directly to the charity’s website without clicking anything in the email.

As always, employers should make sure that all backups are current and network protection measures are as strong as possible.

Reminding your team to be vigilant about cybersecurity is always a best practice, but with so many of us working remotely – and so many opportunities for cyber criminals – it’s never been more important.

Questions about Cyber Insurance and protecting your business during the pandemic? Contact Consolidated Insurance.