While the world is focused on the threat posed by Covid-19, cybercriminals across the globe are using this time of crisis for their own benefit by launching their own kind of “virus”. With the lockdown, more and more employees are forced to work from home without the facility of on-site IT crew. This has led many companies and their employees vulnerable to cyber attacks.
For instance, recently in Britain, hackers have launched a wave of cyber-attacks to exploit the people who are working from home. The percentage of malicious email traffic before the UK’s lockdown began was 12% but after 6 weeks it is more than 60%. These cyberattacks are now more sophisticated and are especially focused on coronavirus related anxieties rather than the usual attempts at financial frauds and extortion.
At the beginning of May, Darktrace found “a large malicious email campaign” against UK businesses that told employees working from home that they could choose to be furloughed if sign-in on a particular website. There are also reports of attacks that have targeted tools that are used by employees who are working from home. For example, fake requests to reset VPN accounts (a virtual private network) and zoom video conferencing accounts with the faked sign-in pages.
There is also an increase in spoofing attacks with emails disguised as an email from a colleague. Darktrace said that one-fifth of malicious emails will normally use some form of spoofing but this rate has reached 60%. There was one spoofing attack in which there was an unnamed company chief executive asking workers to donate to his health charity, and there were also many cases of fake IT support departments asking workers to download new software.
As long as lockdown continues, secure payments and billing procedures will be hard to achieve. Since employees working from home are not trained on data privacy protocols, they can risk exposing sensitive information to data breaches. But steps can be taken by the company and its employees to prepare for these malicious activities and decrease these cyberattacks.
Steps to ensure a secure work from home environment
Update the security network Making sure that your devices are up to date with security patches and upgrades can make a huge difference in preventing any cyberattack.
Remind employees to be cautious about phishing emails Be on a lookout for attractive emails that are provoking you to open them or any other emails that are looking suspicious to you about any offers related to coronavirus.
Use a secure internet connection Make sure that you only use a secure wifi network, your wifi should be password protected. If you are going to use a public network verify from the owner whether it is their official network or not only use verified and password protected wifi connections.
Employers should reinforce data safety While working from home, employers should make sure that employees maintain their professionalism and do not use their personal email accounts in an official capacity.
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