Many businesses in the UK have been working from home for several weeks and will continue to do so until lockdown restrictions are lifted. As the workforce quickly moved to remote working to keep everyone safe, news stories soon surfaced highlighting the fact that hackers were thriving amid the current crisis.
Between Wednesday 8th April and Wednesday 16th April 2020 ActionFraud received reports of 131 phishing emails under the guise of GOV.UK. While some scams targeted shoppers searching for hand sanitisers and face masks, cyber attacks have taken many different forms in recent weeks.
In addition to removing 2000 Coronavirus-related scams so far, the National Cyber Security Centre launched the ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign on the 21st April.
We are offering further tips on how you can keep your network secure and give you and your staff peace of mind during this already challenging period.
The Rise of Phishing
The current crisis has led to a sharp rise in phishing attacks, where scammers send an email from what appears to be a reputable source, manipulating users to steal money or personal data.
Many victims have reported receiving emails referencing ‘COVID-19’, a compelling subject to make users open the scams. Scammers have even impersonated organisations like WHO and GOV.UK, knowing that their advice and resources are uppermost in the public’s mind.
These types of emails are deliberately formed to trigger a panic reaction. If you receive an email like this, always check then double check the delivery address. Although these emails are created to imitate a known organisation, you will quickly be able to identify that they are not using the official email address.
Additionally, be on the lookout for any uncharacteristic emails from colleagues requesting strange information like a request for the processing of large sums, for example. If this occurs, speak to your colleague by phone or in person to clarify the situation.
How to Protect Your Devices from New Threats
Many home working offices will not be as secure as business offices. This means that we are more vulnerable to cyberattack as along as the correct measures are not in place. Thankfully, we have a few suggestions to keep your networks secure.
As a proud partner of Cisco, we are providers of their high-quality cybersecurity products and services. Here is a quick run-down of two of their most effective services and what they can do for you:
Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Meraki
Cisco Umbrella is a cloud security platform that acts as the first line of defence against cyber-attacks. Built into the infrastructure of the internet, it provides security at the vital DNS and IP layers. Cisco Umbrella security will identify new threats quickly and highlight any devices that are already infected.
We have excellent free trials available.
Cisco Meraki is a secure and easy to use network that you can rely on. This network is perfect for remote working, as it allows your teams to continue working as seamlessly and collaboratively as possible. It already serves as a cornerstone for many big brands throughout the world.
Free trials are also available for this service
In addition to Cisco’s excellent security options, we further recommend that you look at gaining a government-backed Cyber Essentials accreditation. Gaining this accreditation will involve several steps including a gap analysis, so that you can source the vulnerabilities in your network system. The steps to accreditation will analyse your system’s internet security, check for robust firewall protection, identify whether you have a reliable VPN and up to date anti-virus software.
Beat the Scammers
The current scenario is a breeding ground for hackers coming up with fresh ideas that will help them to infiltrate as many devices as possible. You are able to take control of the situation by doing everything you can now to protect your devices. You will feel more secure and you can be confident in the fact that you are helping to prevent the scammers from further exploiting and profiting from the pandemic.
Please get in touch with us on 0800 6681 266 or firstname.lastname@example.org about Cisco security services, Cyber Essentials or any other concerns you may have.