The current pandemic has slowed the world to a crawl. Wall Street has been hit hard. People are no longer going out. We’re told to quarantine, self-isolate, and not engage in groups.
You know who hasn’t slowed down? Cybercriminals.
In fact, they’re probably working overtime while the rest of us have our lives turned upside down. Cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. While you are distracted and trying to make sense of this new world, they are finding new ways into your IT network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information and even demand large ransoms. These things are harmful in the best of times; how bad would it be now?
Cybercrime is already on the rise, and is expected to cause $6 TRILLION in damages by 2021! For comparison, that’s nearly equal to the PPP funding the US government has approved. If history is anything to go by, hackers will be out in full force throughout this pandemic looking to steal their share of that PPP funding. We fully expect that headlines in the coming weeks will change from stories about COVID-19 to reports of a frenzy of cyberattacks on corporations and small businesses.
None of us want to be in those reports. Here are solutions you can implement now to help protect your business data, money and productivity:
1. Be more suspicious of incoming e-mails.
People are scared and confused right now, making it the perfect time for hackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware and viruses. At this moment, your inbox is probably filled with “COVID-19” subject lines and coronavirus-focused e-mails—each of them likely promising some news of a treatment or cure. Don’t get caught up in the messaging. Always carefully inspect the e-mail and make sure you know the sender.
For example, there’s a “cdc-gov” e-mail address out there now that’s not legitimate, and is spamming inboxes across the country.
Avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it’s clear where they go. You should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Make sure you communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.
2. Secure your work-from-home computers.
Another reason we expect a rise in cyber-attacks is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employers won’t think about security as their team starts working at the kitchen table, and that’s a dangerous oversight.
First, make sure your employees are not using their home computers or devices when working. Personal computers are much more difficult to secure, and might not have the tools needed to work from home effectively. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that’s turned on. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a VPN (virtual private network).
If you need help in arranging your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to get your entire team set up.
3. Improve your password strategy.
In a crisis rife with uncertainty, your passwords could mean the difference between spending your time relearning how to grow your business, and trying to recover from a data breach. Make a point to immediately reevaluate your passwords, and direct your team to create stronger ones. Check out our 10 Second Tip series on Facebook.
Also, while it’s convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also weakens your security. When your browser asks to save your password, select “Never”. Because web browsers simply require their own password or PIN to access saved passwords, any hacker of moderate skill can get your data. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal as much as they want–credit card information, customers’ private data, and more.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep the convenience without sacrificing safety. You should consider a password manager to keep all of your passwords in one place, protected by robust security programming. At 10D Tech, we prefer and trust LastPass as our Password manager.
You, your team, and your family have enough to concern yourselves with. You need to focus on staying healthy, living a more isolated lifestyle, and keeping your business strong. There’s no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security fall to the wayside.
If you need additional security advice or would like to have a consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe, simply connect with us today. All you have to do is click the button below.
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Cybercriminals Are Counting On You Letting Your Guard Down