Many organizations we’re already worried about malicious threat actors. With the COVID-19 pandemic, new worries have been added to the list with hackers trying to exploit the outbreak to their financial advantage.
While states were working to slow the spread, and limit human contact, many employees had to work from home. In addition, people were already stressed-out over the quick changes happening throughout the world.
Preying on emergencies is not new. What has changed is that many employees do not have the most secure equipment installed for working from home. Further, many businesses had not been prepared enough to have so many team members working from home. As a result, the setup was quick and dirty. In addition, these employees pose a higher risk because they are working outside of the organization’s firewall.
Yet, cyber thieves will continue to try to spread malware through email, texts, websites, and more to leverage monetary gain. Moreover, hackers are taking advantage of the deluge of team members working from home.
One of the most prominent techniques are phishing campaigns where a hacker will send a message to a remote employee pretending to either be the company IT manager or tech support. These remote employees want to keep their jobs and are doing everything they can to prove themselves while working from home. So then, they get a message from the IT department, and they may feel compelled to click on it. Why? Because they want to help induce cyber safety too. Unfortunately, these messages aren’t coming from the IT department.
What’s in the message? Oftentimes, it asks remote staff to sign into some remote portal or website with their credentials to ensure they can still access a business-critical asset. Then, hackers will capture the credentials to use within the company networks until they find the data they want. If your company does not have a privileged access program, it is extremely vulnerable to this type of cyber threat.
Invariably, communicating entirely online makes it easier for hackers to use social engineering to break into company networks. On the other end of the spectrum, hackers can even call into the IT department pretending to be employees who can’t access the company networks remotely.
Here are some things you can do to prevent a cyberattack:
- Check the sender’s email address.
- Don’t click on any links.
- If someone asks you to call a number, verify the number with a manager.
- Don’t open attachments from senders you don’t know.
- Be cautious if the message requires urgency.
- Legitimate IT employees are extremely busy and will not call/contact you randomly.
- Legitimate senders will not ask for personal information.
- Your tech department should already have remote access, and if they don’t, management will handle it. Individual IT employees will not contact you directly to ask for access.
- Grammatical, and spelling, errors are usually a sign of fraud.
While the world is still in a fluid situation, hackers are on the prowl for any weaknesses. When volatility is high, people have a higher tendency to let down their guard. So then, companies must make sure their employees’ are not working with outdated systems, operating systems, or applications. Plus, they should not install unauthorized software.
Use a multifaceted cybersecurity strategy. Remember, trust must be earned.
Reach out to us and see how we can help and ensure that your network is protected and running at full strength. Please stay safe at this scary time if any assistance is needed you can reach us at 201-402-1900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.