The threat of cyberattack campaigns during COVID-19


The threat of cyberattack campaigns during COVID-19

2020 has witnessed a virus change the entire business landscape across the world. Working from home has been the prevalent norm across companies. This has put many employees, particularly those not so comfortable working remotely, in an uncomfortable position. Taking advantage of this forced transition, there has been a proliferation of cyberattacks and similar nefarious campaigns that has duped millions of people in the last few months.

Taking advantage of the pervasive uncertainty, cybercriminals are resorting to email and text scams, which have forced companies to strengthen their cybersecurity measures. Lately, there have been myriads of reports of phishing attempts, and these numbers are only increasing with time.

One of the methods adopted by these scamsters has been to ask for donations on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS) to buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or to consolidate funds for the fight against COVID-19 in general. Another method adopted is pretending to be representatives of the UK government and levying fines on people for leaving their homes more than once daily, defying lockdown orders. When the duped people pay these “fines,” the fraudsters get paid directly. People have been losing jobs in hordes owing to a slump in business, and scammers have taken advantage of their plight by offering them fake job offers. They ask for an advance payment for carrying out background checks, and the desperate unemployed workers fall prey to the request and end up paying the amount requested.

There have been reports of extensive online scamming scams too. People have been ordering sanitizers, gloves, and masks, which never arrive while scammers pocket all the money. The way out… Organizations need to provide their employees with mandatory security awareness training programs to prohibit remote workers from clicking on suspicious and unfamiliar links or navigating to not-so-trustworthy sites.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have said that scammers have been preying upon public anxiety and flooded the internet with phishing and social engineering scams, including widespread misinformation campaigns that might have geopolitical or financial motivation. Such a situation demands the businesses to take a more proactive approach towards protecting their network against such external threats

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