How to Bolster Your Cyber Security Efforts During COVID-19

Mar 19, 2020

How to Bolster Your Cyber Security Efforts During COVID-19 Image

The COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world in unforeseen ways. Its biggest impact has been on the global economy, and significantly disrupted our daily lives. Activities that generate consumer spending such as events, conferences, outings to restaurants or venues, have been cancelled due to President Trump’s strict guidelines on gatherings being limited to 10 people or under. This “social distancing” effort has created challenges for organizations nationwide – most of whom we’re not prepared to have a remote workforce.

Challenges Affecting Businesses Due to COVID-19

Aside from the education system closing and sending children home, organizations are working with employees to combat the challenges of technology, data compliance, and cyber security best practices to effectively and efficiently work from home. For those organizations who have not migrated to the cloud, they are experiencing greater challenges in work productivity. As of now it is uncertain the length of time from which the COVID-19 virus will last and how effective government response will be to contain the spread of the virus – leaving businesses up in the air on what next steps should be.

COVID-19 Phishing & Malware Attacks

Bad actors do not stop trying to infiltrate security defenses because times are hard; in fact, Secuvant is seeing an increase in hacker groups trying to take advantage of COVID-19 through any means available including targeted phishing and malware campaigns, texts, calls, fake websites, and misleading and suspect information. Below are some examples of these campaigns:

  • Coronavirus scams on social media, emails, texts and websites are on the rise. Specifically, scammers are impersonating the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) through various channels of communication.
  • Criminals are disguising themselves as WHO to steal money or sensitive information.  
  • Hackers are forging emails mentioning the outbreak that appear to be from business partners or public institutions in an effort to have users open the messages, unleashing malware.
  • Johns Hopkins’ popular COVID-19 Dashboard has been a credible go-to source for people who want to stay up to date on the virus; however, hackers have created a weaponized version of the coronavirus map which infects victims with a variant of the information-stealing AZORult malware. 
  • A new ransomware called CoronaVirus is being distributed through a fake website pretending to promote the system optimization software and utilities from WiseCleaner.

Cyber Security Best Practices

As cyberattacks continue to take advantage and exploit user’s fear, organizations should implement their incident response planning procedures and policies to keep the company and clients informed of business operations. Moreover, address cyber security best practices with staff including the following:

  • Analyze emails and don’t fall prey to click bait when you are in a sense of urgency.
  • Be wary of attachments, avoiding them from distrustful senders as it may contain malware.
  • One would think this tip is commonsense, but do not reveal personally identifiable information or financial information, as hackers will use this to steal credentials and access finances.
  • Be sure to use trusted sites and stick to personal/private WIFI.
  • In moments of uncertainty – notify your IT or HR department.

What You Can Expect from Secuvant

Secuvant continues its business operations, monitoring and safeguarding client data. With a robust and flexible monitoring architecture in place – coupled with our partnerships within the security community at large – Secuvant is prepared and committed to meet the cyber security needs of businesses throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.