When a crisis hits, it can bring out the best in humanity. This was evident during Australia’s recent bushfire crisis, where people from around the nation (and the world) came together to support communities. Unfortunately, crises can also bring out the worst, where people see opportunities to exploit people’s anxiety, fear and panic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has countries and governments scrambling to respond. The healthcare system is being pushed and our economy is suffering. There are significant changes to how and where we work. It’s predicted many businesses will face solvency issues, which may lead to closures, especially to the most vulnerable small to medium business sector, the lifeblood of Australian communities.
A growing number of employers are implementing social distancing and/or remote working policies. Moving at short notice from a trusted office environment to working remotely can create security risks. Our experience tells us that employees are typically the weakest link in the network security chain. In these times of anxiety and uncertainty, they are even more vulnerable than usual to cyber threats. At Honan, we have already witnessed increased activity from cyber criminals looking to exploit the crisis. We have seen a rise in email scams, phishing emails, malware and social engineering fraud.In response, we’d like to share with you some guidance on enhancing your cyber security.
Eight ideas for improved cyber security for remote workers:
- Implement the latest version of your security software and anti-virus protection. Regularly check for patches as these often fix entry points for cyber criminals
- Ensure your WiFi connection is secure
- Back up regularly – if you are a target of an attack, a back up means you won’t lose everything
- Install encryption tools
- Change your password regularly
- If working in a shared space, ensure you lock your screen when stepping away
- What’s the plan? – If there is a cyber security incident what are the procedures to follow? Educate staff on these procedures
- Cyber Insurance – review your Cyber insurance policy or consider purchasing one.
We have gathered some additional resources to help you protect against cyber risks in the current climate:
- The Australian Cyber Security Centre has provided a list of proactive strategies businesses can take in preparation for COVID-19.
- Mailguard, a leading cloud email security provider, has produced an eBook detailing the 5 Types of Email Scams Exploiting COVID-19
- Small Business Cyber Security Guide from The Australian Cyber Security Centre
For any further queries or concerns, please contact Dominic Brettell.
Head of Client Service (NSW) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions.