5 Ways to Protect Your Network from COVID-19
The unprecedented pandemic caused by the COVID-19 strain is causing health, financial and social crisis worldwide. Populations around the globe are focusing on keeping the virus at bay – except one: population cybercriminal. True to form, cybercriminals around the world are exploiting the public’s fear of contracting the virus and thirst for current to the minute updates to infest business and personal network’s with malware, ransomware and business email compromise. Below are 5 ways SMB’s and the general public can protect their network from COVID-19 fallout.
1. Don’t Open or Respond to Any Unrecognized Emails or Email Senders
Businesses are diligently working to keep up with the everchanging COVID-19 environment and as such are sending subscribers and patrons email communication with their company COVID-19 policy and response. Patron inboxes are pinging faster than ever with statements from retailers, restaurants, wholesalers and service businesses they may not have supported in years. Users should be wary of opening anything from an unrecognized source. Approach attachments with the same level of wariness. Any information should be gleaned directly from the source domain via search to ensure security.
2. Be Wary of “News” Websites or Emails Talking About Cures, Vaccines or Other Items Related to COVID-19
Users should only frequent trusted websites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or known news sites. When headlines pop up that tout catchy phrases, too good to be true news, breaking information, etc., users should first verify this information via trusted media.
3. Be Cautious When Receiving Direct Messages (DM) via Text Message, Facebook, WhatsApp or Other Social Media Sites
Any message that requests sensitive, personal information or involves medical concerns, symptoms or issues should be deleted immediately. Most medical facilities have patient portal’s available via their websites. All communications should be verified via the provider portal.
4. Be Suspicious of Calls You Receive From Your Doctor or Medical Insurance Carrier
Unrecognized numbers should be sent to voicemail. If the voicemail seems legitimate, dial the party directly using a verified number (such as from the party’s website). Don’t just simply hit redial or call back. As a general rule, never give out personal information whether it be as simple as your name and phone number to anyone who calls you.
5. Visit Health or Medical Websites Directly
Hackers often create fake web addresses that take users to realistic looking, but fake, web pages. Never click on link sent to you via email, text, DM or otherwise and enter personal information on the end web page. Staying off dark websites can help protect your network from COVID-19.
With the work from home model in use in effort to prevent COVID-19 spread, network security can be compromised in an instant. Home networks just aren’t built or monitored to police incoming and outgoing traffic the way robust business networks are. It’s up to the end user to remain diligent and use cyber sense when receiving, responding to and sending digital communication. In the event a compromise occurs, contact your MSP immediately to help with remediation.