Cybersecurity measures businesses should be taking during Covid-19

As the world remains in lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Crime Agencies have identified a surge in ‘coronavirus-themed’ malicious apps, websites, phishing emails and messages that seek to steal confidential or sensitive information.

While much of the malicious cyber-activity that has been identified is targeted at vulnerable individuals and organizations involved in the pandemic response (such as healthcare organizations), businesses should not rest on their laurels. Not only might staff members be targeted, thereby putting business systems and information at risk, but remote working systems are also vulnerable to attack.

Attacks that compromise your business’s systems could ultimately lead to the loss of sensitive information, fraudulent activity or personal data breaches, which could have severe financial and legal implications for your business.

To help, we’ve taken a look at how your business can keep ahead of the curve by identifying and addressing any potential cyber-vulnerabilities.

What should businesses be looking out for?

We have identified the following key types of Covid-19 cyberattacks to look out for:

  1. Phishing – Email, SMS, or WhatsApp messages with Covid-19 related content lure people to click on links to phishing websites where personal or financial information is stolen.
  1. Malware distribution – This will often come in the form of emails asking readers to open an attachment or download a file, which contains malware or ransomware and therefore compromises their device. These email campaigns may appear to come from official sources, e.g. the World Health Organization.
  1. Registration of new domain names – Phishing emails or messages may lure people into clicking on links to websites designed to steal user credentials. They will lead the user to a ‘spoofed login’ page where they will be asked to submit information such as their email password.
  1. Attacks on remote working systems – With many people now working on remote systems, cyber-criminals exploit vulnerabilities in systems such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and videoconferencing systems by sending emails with links to malicious files that purport to link inviting someone to join a call.
  1. Password spraying – Malicious cyber-groups try commonly used passwords to gain access to and compromise accounts. Commonly used passwords include those based on the organization’s name being attacked, the month of the year and the seasons.