Online threat actors are taking advantage of our coronavirus fears

Coronavirus Fears

As if the world didn’t already have enough to contend with, online threat actors are actively taking advantage of the situation and targeting users with coronavirus related scams, malware and phishing emails. With a massive uptake in malicious coronavirus-related domains being resisted in the past weeks.

These attacks are looking to exploit people’s fears and appetite for information about the coronavirus outbreak. Given the impact on the security of businesses and individuals alike, it’s essential to avoid falling victim to online scams and follow good security practices.

Businesses should ensure that secure remote access technologies are in place and configured correctly, including the use of VPNs and multi-factor authentication, to allow employees to conduct business securely from home. Avoid using vulnerable technologies such as PPTP VPNs and unencrypted Remote Desktop Sessions.

Where possible individuals should keep away from using unauthorized personal devices for work, and where required ensure personal devices have the same level of security as a company-owned device. Including anti-virus software and up-to-date application.

Businesses should consider the security implications of employee-owned devices connecting to a business network.

Individuals should continue to be vigilant of emails and files received from unknown senders. As would always be advised don’t open unknown attachments or click on suspicious links and avoid emails that ask you to share sensitive data such as an account passwords or bank information.

If an email seems out of character or is making a financially motived request, such as a transfer of funds between bank accounts or payment of a receipt, a second means of communication to authentication the request should be used, such as over the telephone or through a Teams chat.

Businesses should consider implementing additional threat protection measures such as anti-malware and anti-phishing filters to help reduce the quantity of malicious emails reaching the workforce inbox.

When searching for information about coronavirus use trusted sources, such as official news outlets and legitimate government websites for up-to-date, fact-based material.