The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a wealth of opportunities for cybercriminals. Scammers have been creative: disguising malicious emails as everything from the somewhat reasonable (discounts on hand sanitizer) to the absurd (COVID-19 cures). Some up the stakes by claiming to be a reputable institution such as the World Health Organization. These emails deliver malware, either as an attachment or through a URL. The frauds and phishing emails currently circulating steal passwords, banking information that can be used for identity fraud and log-in details which are often used by cybercriminals at a later date.
What Is at Risk
Individuals working from home and small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Employees in these scenarios tend to use personal devices at home that are not properly protected, which can result in a damaging malware infection. Additionally, these infections can compromise company networks and put sensitive data and ID information at risk of being stolen. For a small business, a malware infection could be spyware that siphons client information, a trojan that steals sensitive data or ransomware that locks up devices, databases and work documents.
Prevent the Spread
It is relatively easy to prevent the spread of malware. Education is the first step. It is crucial that businesses of all sizes educate their employees on how to spot suspicious emails, PDFs and Word attachments. When working from home, it is even easier to become distracted and accidentally open a cybercriminal’s phishing email message. A virtual private network (VPN) is another way to safeguard company networks. Additionally, companies should ensure all end-user devices, such as employee laptops, have protection installed.
It can be difficult and often complex, for small businesses to provide protection for employees working from home. Small businesses are able to take advantage of a free, three-month minimum Small Office Security license offered by BullGuard. Business owners can download the free trial here. Sign up is quick and easy — with no credit card details or financial information required.
Infographic Source: BullGuard