More Viruses Due to COVID-19?

Lisa Goth Cyber

New Threats Arrive Everyday

As the world emerges from their quarantine cocoons and opens doors to their homes, borders, and businesses, one would expect the exceptional spike in cybersecurity threats during COVID-19 to subside. The opposite is true.

According to a recent report from Checkpoint, overall cyberattacks are up 16% compared to March and April when the coronavirus was at its peak. Why?

As most businesses and organizations closed due to quarantines, the potential number of targets for cyber attackers was reduced. Now that the world is seeing relief and those businesses and organizations are opened up and functioning at full capability, cybercriminals are positioned to pounce on the increased potential victims.

The public institutions that were vulnerable before COVID, are now more vulnerable. Hospitals, local government, and educational institutions are enticing to hackers because they hold a valuable collection of data, and often lack the proper resources to fend off intruders. Even though these organizations were already at risk of malicious hackers, the coronavirus brought new viruses every day through phishing, social engineering, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

With the greater reliance on digital platforms for day-to-day operations during quarantine and the rapid changes in adopting to a virtual environment, there was more room for error to further exploit vulnerabilities and open up more opportunities for malicious attacks. In the rush to maintain continuity, businesses may have been guilty of the following: circumventing privacy and cybersecurity controls, using online services and applications without proper training or vetting of privacy, and insecure remote access protocols. All or one of these factors could result in digital hijacking. Zoom bombing is one such example of what happened in the educational sector due to this type of hijacking.

Now, more than ever, you need to stay protected against these opportunistic attacks. Remember the following rules:

  • Beware of lookalike domains, spelling errors in emails or websites, and unfamiliar email senders.
  • Be cautious with files received through email from unknown senders, especially if they prompt for a certain action you would not usually do
    Ensure you are ordering goods from an authentic source.
  • Do not click on promotional links
  • Make sure you do not reuse passwords between different applications and accounts

Your sensitive information is ready to be stolen by cybercriminals. Charles Leach has experience helping educational institutions, hospitals, and local government protect their valuable and sensitive data. To learn how cyber insurance can help your business contact 1-888-275-3224