The coronavirus is laying the groundwork for a rise in cybersecurity threats, as more companies allow their employees to work from home and anxiety increases around the world. We recently explored how malicious actors are using Covid-19 as a way to launch ransomware attacks; however, ransomware isn’t the only cybersecurity concern that your organization should have.
The day to day lives of individuals around the world have been impacted by the Coronavirus, and hackers are taking this already dangerous situation and trying to use it to their own advantage. They see this as an opportunity to prosper from an unstable environment. In order to understand how these insidious actors will exploit this global pandemic, let’s take a look at two tactics that are already being used.
There is a lot of confusion and panic that exists around coronavirus, which unfortunately makes it much easier for a cybercriminal to conduct their malicious business. Just recently a dominant Covid-19 testing center at Brno University Hospital in the Czech Republic was struck with a ransomware attack. This attack led to the disruption of operations and even the delay of scheduled surgeries. This attack is evidence of the fertile environment that exists for cybercriminals to propagate their malware.
Hospitals are common targets due to the urgent nature of their operations. Cybercriminals hope to force the rapid payment of a ransom, as hospitals can’t afford to suffer the loss of time. This puts patients’ lives at risk and adds an immense amount of pressure to an already overburdened healthcare system during this pandemic.
Additionally, phishing websites related to Coronavirus are becoming much more prevalent. There have been reports that thousands of new domains are arising on a daily basis.
Exploiting the Remote Workforce
The spread of coronavirus and subsequent suggested quarantines and lockdowns has resulted in many employees working from home. This means fewer security protocols and networks that are less secure than the standard office setting. This means that businesses are more vulnerable than ever, and stress or atypical distractions can only exacerbate the situation.
Malicious actors are taking advantage of this increase of remote workers, as defenses are down. Phishing emails will work especially well for hackers given the current situation, as employees are less likely to consult with co-workers about questionable emails when they aren’t in the same office.
It also muddies the water in regard to whether or not certain tasks have been carried out, which makes it easier to fall victim to lies. For instance, if a payment to a vendor was already carried out but an employee doesn’t have the ability to quickly confirm, they may initiate a payment or provide sensitive information to a malicious actor due to the lack of insight. Remote workers need to remain cautious and not act mindlessly. Approach your home office security with extra vigilance in order to thwart cybercriminals that hope to exploit the current situation.
The pandemic that we are currently facing in the form of Covid-19 presents challenges on many fronts, and cybersecurity is one of these challenges. Fortunately, there are ways that businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cybercrime. If you’d like to explore how to shield your organization from cybercriminals that are exploiting the current crisis, contact us today.