As Covid-19 continues to change the way we live are lives, we need to become even more vigilant with our cyber awareness and safety.

Cyber criminals are taking full advantage of individuals and business vulnerabilities at the moment and a variety of scams are popping up all over the world.

In fact TransUnion recently reported that 1 in 4 people had been targeted by a Covid-19 related cyber scam and that cyber criminals had successfully tricked 1 in 10, stealing an average of £500 between 23rd March and 13th May 2020. In fact TransUnion have now reported that to date, Covid-19 fraud has cost the nation £3.6billion.

As people desperately search online for the latest information about the spread of Covid-19, the mass of information out there is mixed in with plenty of false information, fake websites, phishing emails pushing malware and ransomware to try and steal your passwords, personal data and money during this uncertain and worrying time.

In fact the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has seen an increase in the registration of web pages relating to the Coronavirus suggesting that cyber criminals are likely to be taking advantage of the outbreak. The NCSC, a part of GCHQ created to keep the UK safe online, is urging businesses and the public to stay alert and stay safe by following strict cyber security measures.

Here’s some top tips for spotting a Phishing email:

  • Firstly, stop, think and read carefully every email you receive before clicking on anything.
  • If it contains poor spelling and grammar or addresses you with ‘Dear Friend’ or ‘Valued Customer’ think twice.
  • Does it portray urgency? Words such as ‘Act now’ or ‘Click immediately’ or often signs of a suspicious email
  • Look at the sender name and email address, is it someone you know or are they trying to mimic someone you know? Does the domain look legitimate? If it’s been sent from a known company, double check their domain by visiting their website. If it looks unfamiliar, chances are you should delete it.
  • If the email asks you for any personal or sensitive data such as date of birth, full name, bank details etc it most certainly is a scam, so delete.
  • Does the email contain suspicious links or attachments? We would advise that you only ever open attachments or click on links that you are absolutely confident about. If in any doubt, call the sender or phone the organisation first to check legitimacy.

Now you know how to spot a phishing email, share this across your business to all your colleagues. Staff education is absolutely key.

Cyber awareness should be front of mind at all times, but during this epidemic, even more so. To aid this the NCSC has put together a FREE Cyber Security e-learning training package which you can roll out across your business or build it into your own training programme.

As many organisations now face the need to send many, if not all of their employees, home to work remotely, this sudden change is opening up further security gaps. While some companies offer this as standard or might have planned for this eventuality and therefore engineered their networks to provide appropriate security and privacy controls, others have not done so. This new and unplanned for situation is forcing companies to make fundamental changes without the luxury of time to put in adequate security controls and measure in place.

If this sounds like you, check out our ‘Preparing for a remote workforce‘ blog to make sure you’re doing all you can to stay safe.

Cyber crime affects businesses of all sizes and their tactics to attack are changing all the time. It’s vital that you put in all the measures necessary to protect your business, data and employees from cyber attacks.

You can read further information on the cyber services we provide below:

Antivirus protection

Cyber Essentials – a government led scheme designed to help organisations address cyber security concerns and guide them on measures to reduce the risk of cyber attack.

Data Encryption 

Ransomware Protection 

Two Factor Authentication 

Web Filtering 

Dark Web Monitoring

To speak to one of our cyber experts now, call 01392 207 194 or email us and we’ll be right back in touch.

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