Cybersecurity, COVID-19, and Work at Home
With the increasing number of cases being reported in the USA and worldwide of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), many businesses and government offices are sending employees home, to work at home. Students are not attending classes in a classroom and are now attending online classes from their homes or dorm rooms. But with work-at-home or study-at-home, there is a new threat – a Cybersecurity related one.
Cybercriminals are ramping up their tactics to take advantage of consumers that are working at home with an internet service that is not as well protected as their business. Most consumers do not have the same network security devices as businesses, thus exposing the business data to a potential attack.
On March 3, 2020, technology researchers reported that 2 malware campaigns were launched and were connected to the Coronavirus. One uses a phishing email with a PDF or Word attachment that provides a notice about “Corona Virus Safety Measures”, “Infection Prevention Measures”, or similar document titles. Another email sends a document from the “Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine”.--image
Federal agencies are warning that scammers and hackers are exploiting the Coronavirus update to target both businesses and consumers. The US Secret Service issued a bulletin warning on March 9, 2020, that criminals have been employing email “phishing” scams against businesses.
5 Tips for better Cybersecurity when working from home:
- Have security software running on the computer that you are using. This should be paid software and should include anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and a firewall. As good as the Windows Security software that comes with Windows 10 is, you need something better. Also, all computers need this software, including all PC’s and Mac’s
- Hardwire your computer at home. You will have a faster, more secure connection if you are using a hard-wired connection (i.e. Ethernet) to your home router/switch/modem. If you must use a wireless connection, be sure that your wireless password has at least 16 characters (including upper & lower case letters, numbers, and special characters) and is only shared with the people that you live with.
- Use a company VPN to connect to your employer. A VPN is a tunnel directly to the business where you work. It is very secure. However, your connection to your business will be slower than when you are in the office. This is due to the speed of your home internet service and that you are now connecting across the internet to your business servers. Most employers will provide information on how to connect to the VPN when they are sent home.
- Be careful what you click on. In email and on-line, be careful what you are clicking on. With cyber criminals and hackers sending out more attempts to access your data during this Pandemic, you need to be more proactive than normal. As indicated above, your home network is not as secure as your office.
- Opening documents from outside your company. Be very careful when opening any documents from people outside of your company or people that you do not know. Cyber criminals are sending emails with attachments or weblinks as an attempt to have you open the document. Remember that Microsoft or Office 365 will not send you an email with an attachment to open.
To ensure optimal Cybersecurity during this Pandemic, follow the above suggestions, and always enlist the help of your trusted Cybersecurity and Managed IT Experts.
Founded in 2003, ELIJAH is a multi-award-winning leader in providing expert digital forensic, data security solutions, and managed IT. ELIJAH is owned and managed by former litigation partners and is an efficient boutique digital forensic, cybersecurity and IT solutions provider that makes clients’ lives easier through effective communication and white glove service. For additional information, please visit https://www.elijaht.com or call 866-354-5240.