by Lauren Stewart

Business owners and managers are advised that cyber criminal activity is increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic further weakens businesses by frustrating IT team efforts to control and monitor information systems and increasing system access vulnerabilities and social engineering opportunities while teams work from home

“The simple steps of reminding your team to
be extra vigilant in avoiding phishing emails
and malware links and assessing device access
weaknesses will go a long way in protecting
your business.”

Support your IT team and review devices access

It’s likely that your IT resources are stretched thin at the moment. You or your IT team may have been or are still working to get employees working remotely and efforts to monitor and secure business network access points may have suffered in the scramble. Similarly, it may be more difficult to monitor information security while teams are dispersed or distracted.

Find a moment to check in with your team on how remote access and personal devices are being secured. Remote desktop access is ripe for exploitation and employees may be using unsecured WiFi to access your business systems. A quick ping of your employees or your IT team can alert you as to where your business may be most vulnerable. Remind employees to install software updates and patches, password protect and use two-factor authentication on their systems and devices, and to report any unauthorized access, data loss, or device theft.

Remind employees about phishing and malware

Social engineering is more effective when employees are distracted. Similarly, requests through email and link sharing are more common and less likely to raise suspicion while teams are working remotely. These activities are where phishing attempts and malware thrive. Further, employees using personal devices may access malicious links or download malware that can infect your network and breach your systems.

Take a moment to send a quick reminder to your team to be extra vigilant and to confirm requests and links before responding to or opening them.

Take a moment to protect your business

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the current crisis and its effects on your business. The simple steps of reminding your team to be extra vigilant in avoiding phishing emails and malware links and assessing device access weaknesses will go a long way in protecting your business.

If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, consider:

  • updating your remote work, BYOD, and information security policies
  • review or add cyber insurance coverage
  • deploy additional security measures such as encryption and two-factor authentication

If your system is breached, immediately contact legal counsel and insurance providers to help you respond.

Message me anytime with questions.

—Lauren