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Remaining vigilant: Cybersecurity during COVID-19

12 months ago by Andrea Amato
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​As we adapt to new working conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technological awareness and security has garnered the attention of many. The transition into remote-working exposes employees to novel cybercrime due to the rise in use of personal computers and devices. With this in mind, data training has become fundamental to ensure security in the workplace and home. The following post will introduce an understanding of cybersecurity alongside current affairs.

Firstly, organisations must understand the particular risks associated with data exposure to later assess long-term information technology (IT) requirements. These concerns are targeted towards:

· User awareness

· Data privacy

· Phishing related to COVID-19

· Fraudulent charities related to COVID-19, and

· Policy communication

The pandemic offers hackers and scammers novel opportunities to create fraudulent information including fake charities to support COVID-19 welfare. Further, sophisticated malware has been developed and tailored to news surrounding COVID-19. Nevertheless, resources and guidance to avoid falling victim to these scams exist after phishing patterns were noticed. Common recommendation examples include:

1. Do not click on unexpected links or attachments in emails

2. Report suspicious emails to your data security team if you are uncertain of its validity

3. If you do want to make a charitable donation to support COVID-19 efforts, look for reputable organisations (such as the Solidarity Response Fund by the World Health Organisation)

4. Ensure your passwords are strong

5. Utilise software such as Multi-Factor Authentication which strengthens user and password protection

6. Ensure anti-virus software are reliable and up to date

7. Ensure your private WiFi Network is secure (for example, that it is password protected)

8. Re-visit your workplace policies for any uncertainties

To conclude, the identification of cybercrime trends is important to be able to provide resources against them. Whatever concerns or doubts you may have in terms of data privacy and security should be communicated with your data team. Scams can be tailored to the company you work in, therefore reiterating the importance to maintain communication between teams. Data awareness training and open discussions alike will allow for the avoidance of negative data exposure and protect the security of your workplace.