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Cybercrime Spiking During the Pandemic

Cybercrime Spiking During the Pandemic

Keeping your network and infrastructure free from threats is always a priority, but with so many people working remotely businesses have encountered problems doing so. In fact, hackers, known for their opportunism, have been ultra-opportunistic during this period and it is causing many headaches for network administrators. Let’s take a look at some statistics that are definitely concerning as we head into the fall, where many experts expect the virus to become more problematic. 

Unsecured Remote Desktops at an All-Time High

With so many workers being asked to work remotely, and no time to plan out a strategy to get them secured, many employees are working with unsecured access to company resources. In fact, unsecured remote desktops have risen by over 40 percent. This is a major concern, because cybercriminals can use brute force methods to gain access to a desktop. If that desktop is part of a larger computing network, they gain access to that as well. Not a good situation. 

Speaking of Brute Force Attacks...

With so many unsecured connections out there, brute force attacks are up nearly 400 percent over numbers in 2019. Kaspersky published a report stating as such, and it really isn’t a surprise. IT admins were given no advanced notice that they were to implement all the services employees would need, creating a lot of potential problems. 

COVID-19 Isn’t Just One Virus

Another revelation that has been made is the fact that hackers and scammers are using COVID-19, and people’s hyper awareness of it, against users. This was seen almost immediately as COVID-19-related phishing attacks exploded all around the Internet. In fact, in one month, there were nearly 70 times more COVID-19-related phishing attacks than the previous month. 

These Attacks Are Hitting the Mark

Unfortunately, because people are working remotely and are less likely to scrutinize incoming emails, many of these phishing emails resulted in networks being breached by outside threats. People were the weakest link in your company’s cybersecurity platform before, but without the constant reminders to be vigilant with emails, users are being less careful and it is resulting in issues across the board. 

COVID-19 is a Field Day for Scammers

As mentioned earlier and understood by many security-minded people out there, hackers are opportunists. A global pandemic is just the kind of situation that hackers look to take advantage of; and they have. There are literally billions of COVID-19 pages up on the Internet, so ascertaining which are legitimate and which are nefarious is going to be difficult. Additionally, thousands of domains are added each day, of which 90 percent are scams. Not a good look for humanity when the largest health crisis in decades is met with people trying to steal money and data from others. 

Zooming Right Into Trouble

Remote working means conferencing, and Zoom is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this whole mess. Unfortunately for its users, it can be a risk to use such a useful software. In April it was reported that over 500,000 Zoom credentials were available for purchase on the Dark Web. Additionally, there is a lot of interest in the word “zoom” online, which tells experts that there will be an increase in malicious code being shared with zoom in the name. Experts believe this increase could be up to 200 times more than the norm. Zoom isn’t dangerous to use on its own, it’s just the fact that people aren’t being careful or practicing good cybersecurity hygiene when using the platform.

Other Problems

On top of the spike in COVID-19-related phishing attacks, the brute force attacks, and the Zoom credentials available on the Dark Web, there have been reports of fake contact tracing apps that contain ransomware. Contact tracing is the act of trying to isolate where COVID-19 cases come from to try and eliminate the spread of it. Unfortunately, these apps are now being used to distribute ransomware. Difficult times we’re living in.

Security has to be top of mind no matter what your business is dealing with. If you would like to discuss what you can do to ward off COVID-19-related cyberthreats, call the knowledgeable experts at Preferred today at 708-781-7110.

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