COVID-19 Phishing Scams Are On The Rise — Here’s How To Stop Them

During shelter-in-place orders, businesses across the nation have transitioned into remote offices to comply with health and safety best practices. But when it comes to moving operations online, it can be easy to forget about digital health and safety practices.

Considering that COVID-19-related phishing scams are running rampant — and 1 in 3 home computers is infected with malware — establishing a set of cybersecurity guidelines for your employees to follow while working from a home office can establish a strong standard that will continue once you’re back in your traditional office space.

In last week’s blog, we mentioned that the 2019 Thales Data Threat Report found that 65% of businesses in the U.S. alone stated they have been the victim of a security breach at one time and 36% within the past year. If you think a data breach won’t happen to your business — even in this time of unprecedented health concerns — that ignorance could end up being your biggest business risk to-date.

Combating Cyberattacks

If ignorance is bliss, what is awareness during a global pandemic?

When it comes to cybersecurity and your business, awareness can be the best investment you make — after all, investing in education is investing in your team’s growth. Tools like Cymulate’s breach and attack simulation platform, which runs simulated attacks to assess cybersecurity risk levels, can help your team determine the extent remote access creates a security risk to your business.

While you may not have a dress code when you work from home, you can still practice good hygiene — good password hygiene, that is. Educate your team on the importance of a strong password and integrate password managers like CyberArk Enterprise Password Vault,  LastPass or 1Password as an easy solution for your existing workflow.

Establishing a strong remote connection via a VPN is a basic pillar of a remote work model, but it is vital to make sure that VPNs are patched and updated. Additionally, remember to check if any additional licenses, capacity or bandwidth is required to support a larger number of remote users. These data “hygiene” solutions, paired with multi-factor authentication, can help limit your risk of data breaches and hacks.

Arming Your Business With Cybersecurity Awareness

We’ve previously discussed the importance of providing your staff with cybersecurity training to help put protective measures in place and boost employees’ individual skillsets.

Once your team has a base knowledge of cybersecurity, you can begin to establish precedence and create guidelines for how employees can brush up their knowledge or train a new employee. Written guidelines and how-to documents for both new and existing software (even if it is as simple as “How To Log In To…”) can help maintain consistency across your team.

Bottom line, make sure that your team members know how to react if their device is lost or stolen. Data security is a team effort and often requires all branches of your business to work together to ensure strength across the board. Working with members of your HR team to create an emergency response plan for whatever digital issues you may run into while working remotely can save both time and manpower in the long run.

As we move forward in this new normal, briefing your team on best practices for responding to a potential cybercrime and educating them on cybersecurity issues can pay off even when you’re back in the office.

MDL Technology Is Here To Help

Now more than ever, being a cognizant cybercitizen means educating yourself and your team members on cybersecurity best practices, staying up-to-date on current malware or phishing scams and working as a team to keep your data protected.

Your company’s security is our top priority. We offer services such as 24/7 support, network monitoring, offsite data backups, auditing and compliance and more to help ensure that you don’t need to stress about your team’s private information becoming public.

Learn more about the services we offer by visiting our website.

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