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Some tips to minimize cyber risk during COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an ocean of challenges for businesses, worldwide. As days pass, the number of employees working remotely are increasing creating a greater hope for cybercriminals to exploit fears and resort to phishing and ransomware attacks. Increase in cyber attacks against hospitals and health care providers has skyrocketed around the world. Cybercriminals are also targeting mobile networks as most of the remote workers are doing business through phone calls. Now is the time that employees need to take the utmost care to protect themselves as well as confidential business/company information. 

1. Practice Good Cyber Hygiene

Follow your company guidelines while using devices and the internet. Make sure that your devices are up to date on antivirus protection and also use secure and known connections.Never use bluetooth in public places as it is an easy way for hackers to reach your device.Use multi-factor authentication on accounts for which it is available.

2.  Be alert About Phishing Emails

Be alert about phishing emails designed to persuade you to click on the latest and greatest offer related to coronavirus protections or with the intent of getting you to download a file.Recently, Office 365 or Gmail accounts have been hacked through a phishing email, and the hacker sends fraudulent invoices claiming to be from legitimate vendors,with changed instructions with the money going to the hacker’s account. Enable multi-factor authentication for all the accounts you control.

3. Use Secure WiFi

Work only on secure and password protected internet connections. Verify the network’s legitimacy and connect only trusted networks. Avoid access to confidential or personal information from public WiFi networks. Hackers will try to trick you by using the name of a secure system;so, assure that the connection is legitimate. Also, check the “Forget Network” option after using a public network. If you fail in doing so, you might be giving control and access to a hacker, to everything on the network.

4. Report Lost or Stolen Devices

Remote work increases the chances for the loss or theft of your devices. Once you realize your device has been lost or stolen, immediately contact the company IT security personnel to minimize the risk of fraudulent activity.Assure that all your sensitive or confidential information is safe from those who would tamper with it. 

Covid-19 or this pandemic period is expected to come to a close sooner rather than later. Hackers out there utilizing this crisis period will only complicate the sophisticated IT industry and cyber security personnel. One thing the situation brings to light is not just physical hygiene but also security measures and habits needed. The situation has brought into surface some major flaws and it is high time we prepare for it. Just like the pandemic, this too shall pass.



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