The world is slowing down during this COVID-19 pandemic. Wall Street was hit hard. People are no longer going out. We have to quarantine and self-isolate. You can bet there’s one group that’s not slowing down at all. In fact, they’re probably working overtime while the rest of us have our lives turned upside down. Cybercrime is at an all-time high.
Cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. While you are spending your time making sense of this new normal, they are breaking into your IT network. They will steal data, passwords, private information, and even demand large ransoms.
Cybercrime is on the rise and will cause $6 TRILLION in damages by 2021! But, if history repeats itself, hackers will be out in full force throughout this coronavirus scare. We fully expect that headlines will change from COVID-19 to cyber-attacks on corporations.
Here are solutions you can implement now to help protect your business data against cybercrime.
1) Be more suspicious of incoming e-mails.
Because people are worrisome right now, it’s the perfect time for hackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware and viruses. At this moment, your in-box is probably full of “COVID-19” subject lines and coronavirus-focused e-mails. Always carefully inspect the e-mail and make sure you know the sender. There’s a CDC-gov e-mail address out there now that’s not legitimate and is spamming inboxes across the country.
Avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it’s clear where they go. And you should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.
2) Ensure your work-from-home computers are secure.
Another reason we expect a rise in cyber-attacks during this pandemic is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employers won’t think about security as their team starts working at the kitchen table. That’s a dangerous precedent.
First, make sure your employees are not using their home computers or devices when working. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that’s turned on. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a VPN (a virtual private network). If you need help in arranging your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to help.
3) Improve your password strategy.
Your passwords could be the reason you're trying to recoup finances and data that’s been hacked. Make a point now to reevaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords.
Also, while it’s so convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also lessens your security. Skilled hackers can bypass web browsers that require their passwords to access saved passwords. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal as much as they want.
Instead, you should consider a password manager to keep all of your passwords in one place. These password managers feature robust security. A few options are [LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper Security Password Manager].
Concern yourselves with staying healthy, living an isolated lifestyle, and keeping your business strong. There’s no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these cybercrime times.