According to the World Economic Forum’s COVID-19 Risks Outlook, 50% of global enterprises are concerned about increased cyberattacks due to changing work patterns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is understandable given the number of people now working from home, where the level of information security is unlikely to be as strong as it was in the office environment. Additionally, workers who may be stressed, inquisitive or have more time on their hands to surf online, may inadvertently click on links that expose them and, in turn, their organisation to cybercrime.

Strategies being used by cyber criminals in recent months have included:

  • Phoney emails asking participants to click links for information about their JobKeeper payments or tax refunds. 
  • Malware concealed in global maps presented as information about the worldwide spread of COVID-19. 
  • Offers of ‘free’ access to obscure websites or movies which open the gate to malware, or require users to enter credit card or personal details, which open the way to attack.

To protect organisations and individuals against cyberattack, businesses need to secure remote access and collaboration services immediately and step up anti-phishing efforts. Additionally, they should:

  1. Review and remind employees and contractors of the importance of digital hygiene,
  2. Ensure employees and contractors have a long, complex router password for their home WiFi and that system firewalls are active,
  3. Remind employees not to reuse passwords across the web (consider using a password manager), and use a reliable VPN for internet access wherever possible,
  4. Remind staff to take great care when installing software and giving out any personal information – verify the source of every URL and ensure programmes or apps being installed are the original versions from a trusted source,
  5. Caution employees against clicking on email links without being absolutely sure the source is trusted,
  6. Ensure staff are regularly updating their system software and applications to patch any weaknesses, and 
  7. Provide a resource they can access if they have any doubts or questions about the validity of any links or software and application update notifications.

As we move forward, it will be essential for businesses and cybersecurity strategists to consider the long-term security of their processes and architectures within an altered world where remote working is the new normal.

Assistance for Your Business 

COVID-19 is presenting businesses with new challenges every day that require flexible thinking and fast action. 

At the Ayers Group, we can free you up from managing administrative and financial obligations, so you have time to focus on growing your business and protecting your organisation and individuals from new cyber threats. Our extensive services range from tailored back-office payroll management through to migration solutions.  Call on an expert from the Ayers Group today to find out more about how we can provide the resources you need, and free you up for growth and success.