Across the world, organizations and individuals are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China, and is now in 100 locations internationally, including the United States.
Unfortunately, whenever there is a widespread health concern, you will find scammers trying to monetize the fear of the general public.
How to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic
Criminals use online scams to extract internet users’ personal and financial information. These scams – sent through email, texts or social media – claim to provide coronavirus awareness, sell virus prevention products and/or may ask for donations to a charity.
It’s important that consumers take necessary steps to stay safer and more secure online by updating software on all devices (including antivirus and firewalls) backing up data, enabling multi-factor authentication and having strong, lengthy passphrases for each online account.
Take note of these tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance to avoid being a victim of coronavirus scams.
Online scammers can also try getting your data with advanced social engineering and phishing attacks.
Risk management for your systems during COVID-19
From the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA):
As organizations explore various alternate workplace options in response to COVID-19, CISA recommends examining the security of information technology systems (PDF) by taking the following steps:
- Secure systems that enable remote access.
- Ensure Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other remote access systems are fully patched.
- Enhance system monitoring to receive early detection and alerts on abnormal activity.
- Implement multi-factor authentication.
- Ensure all machines have properly configured firewalls, as well as anti-malware and intrusion prevention software installed.
- Test remote access solutions capacity or increase capacity.
- Ensure continuity of operations plans or business continuity plans are up to date.
- Increase awareness of information technology support mechanisms for employees who work remotely.
- Update incident response plans to consider workforce changes in a distributed environment.
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If your business is interested in using advanced multi factor authentication to secure data, contact us today for an expert consultation.