It is important to remain vigilant against the risk of cyber-crime and scams which are attempting to take advantage of the current crisis. It is reported that there has been an increase of disguised health updates and available relief in circulation through emails, SMS messages and phone calls. These attacks use credible COVID-19 information as bait to impersonate businesses and mislead the public.
As almost all businesses and staff are critically dependent on technology, there is a myriad of potential issues which stem from working remotely. With an increased vulnerability, the risks must be recognised in order to ensure business continuity. There is an increase in workplaces relying on their staff’s personal computers and telephones which may not have the same level of sophisticated security in place as the office systems would have. This combination may result in pressure on workplace systems and exposure to a range of confidentiality and security risks for individuals and businesses.
The current situation is expected to last for at least 90 days, with the real possibility of an extension after that time.Therefore, it is essential to recognise phishing/malware emails and SMS messages and take appropriate action – i.e. do not open, click or respond to them. Be careful of any COVID-19 related applications that are downloaded as they may be ransomware designed to mine your personal and private data. Do not let your guard down during this time and double check before clicking on links, especially on personal phones, home laptops or computers used outside of a secure business network.
Some tips to remember:
- Avoid logging on to public networks, such as those at a public library or café (if you can find one that’s open), as they are usually not secure.
- Don’t click on emails or SMS links that prompt you to enter or confirm your personal details.
- Be vigilant against requests to provide your password or transfer funds.
- Avoid using personal emails to share business documents.
Please take advice from an appropriately qualified IT-guru to make sure your systems are protected.