WORKING FROM HOME? FIVE CYBERSECURITY TIPS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Pandemic, Target Individuals, Businesses
INDIANAPOLIS – (Mar. 19, 2020) – “Cybercrime exploits fear and uncertainty,” according to the World Economic Forum, 1 and citizens are experiencing this phenomenon in real time as the health crisis unfolds. Cybercriminals are targeting businesses and health organizations as well as individuals, many of whom are working from home. According to Juan Mack, IT Manager for Matrix Integration, this is a time for both businesses and employees to be even more vigilant to prevent cyberattacks. Matrix Integration is an IT solutions provider for more than 1,000 businesses and schools in Indiana, Kentucky and beyond.
“When you’re in an office and protected by network-wide security systems, you’re in a safe bubble,” says Mack. “When you’re working remotely some of those safeguards go away, so you have less protection from malicious sites or emails. It becomes even more important not to get distracted or click on links that might cause you or your company harm.”
Cybercriminals aren’t looking for anything new – their focus is money and personal information – but their message has changed. People should expect to see links to false Coronavirus websites, fake requests for donations, and even phony emails from health and insurance companies.
Matrix Integration’s Top Five Cybersecurity Tips During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Have a secure connection. Free or unknown Wi-Fi sources may be operated by cybercriminals who can easily steal the data users’ transmit while on their networks. People should not connect to wireless networks that aren’t recognized, especially those with “free” in the name or those defined as an “unsecured computer-to-computer network.”
- Get information from the source. Don’t trust or click on links – whether in an email or online – that promise to take you to Coronavirus updates. Instead, go directly to websites run by individual cities, states and school districts, or national organizations like the CDC.
- Beware of multiple modalities. Criminals are using a variety of means to make inroads with victims. In addition to emails and false websites, never give personal information over the phone, by text or through a mobile app.
- Share information within the company. Any suspicious or malicious emails or sites should be shared with company IT managers. They can alert others of the scam or stop it from going further.
- Share information at home. With other family members and children working from home at the same time, have a discussion about potential threats and how to handle them.
Additional Tips for Companies Managing a Remote Workforce During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Send companywide communication to employees with direct links to remote working resources, including email and file-sharing locations.
- Instate or enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) protocols – this means that employees will need more than one password or code to access corporate resources, such as their online password and then a code sent to their phone.
- Keep sending regular reminders to employees about online security – but keep messages short and cover just one subject. For example, one email might provide an example of a current phishing scam. Another might contain a short employee video.
Keeping Networks Safe
No matter how many precautions business and individuals take, hackers can still gain access to networks and systems. For businesses and their employees, Matrix Integration collaborates with clients to identify the assets that are most important to them, come up with a plan to protect and detect those assets, and provide tools to discover and respond to attacks before they can cause damage. Types of solutions include robust identity management systems so passwords are harder to steal, data encryption software, and staff training.
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About Matrix Integration
Matrix Integration is a trusted information technology solutions provider that has been in business for 40 years. Winner of the 2019 Indiana Economic Development Center Small Business Impact Award, and the 2018 Indiana Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year, Matrix Integration continues to be recognized on numerous industry lists including Diversity Business Top Business, CRN Solution Provider 500, CRN Managed Service Provider Elite 150, CRN Women of the Channel, and CRN Tech Elite 250. Strategic partners include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Meraki, VMware, and Veeam. With multiple locations in Indiana and Kentucky, Matrix Integration works closely with businesses and institutions to provide professional services, networking, data center, collaboration, computing, and security.
1 World Economic Forum: Why Cybersecurity Matters More Than Ever During the Coronavirus Pandemic (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-pandemic-cybersecurity/)