We’ve all been there, especially recently. We open our laptops, get ready to work, and see a blaring message and subject line – “URGENT INFORMATION LETTER: COVID-19 NEW APPROVED VACCINES.” You guessed it – it’s a COVID-19 phishing scam. Since January, cybercriminals have been working overtime looking to leverage uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. These scammers are staging all sorts of vaccine-related attack campaigns – ransomware, phishing, to private network hacking. The cybersecurity company Check Point looked carefully at one particular email, and they found it included an attached EXE file promising additional details on a vaccine. Unfortunately, when unsuspecting users click on the file, it installs software that attempts to obtain usernames, passwords, and other personal information surreptitiously.
This example above is just one of the thousands of cyber scams discovered since the start of the pandemic. In mid-April, Google’s Threat Analysis Group reported that it blocked 18 million COVID-19-related malware and phishing emails per day! And, while phishing emails seem to be slowing since January, there is evidence that corporate IT departments need to get more proactive about security protections for people, data, and systems.
Another factor contributing to the increased urgency around cybersecurity is the huge up-tick in remote working. Enterprises such as Google, Nationwide, and Barclays, are talking about a permanent shift to WFH policies and reduced office space. SMBs, too, are making a shift to WFH for the foreseeable future. Security firm Untangle reports that at the pandemic’s height, 78% of SMBs transitioned up to 100% of their employees to a remote workforce. And now, as we’re getting back to some sense of normalcy, surveys suggest 56% of SMB employees will remain working remotely.
Even if you are ready to make adjustments to your security practices and technologies – it’s no easy feat. Where should you start? Is there a blueprint SMBs can follow? What should business leaders be thinking about for Q1 2021 planning? Let’s review some critical best practices.
At Carrier Solutions Group, we can help you cut through cybersecurity clutter to get the right security processes and tools in place quickly. That way, you can identify and stop cybersecurity threats, keeping your company agile and ready for what’s next.
It’s fair to say that in early March, many companies were emphasizing a ‘connectivity first’ approach to meet the immediate WFH rush. Now, six months later, organizations need to get serious about identifying any existing security and control gaps to prevent cybercriminals from taking advantage of these uncertain times. If you want help mapping out your go-forward strategy to keep your data, systems, applications, and employees secure, please get in touch.