Why Coronavirus Increases Cyber Security Threats

Education + Cyber Security Dale Sutherland todayMarch 31, 2020 138 5

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Why Coronavirus Increases Cyber Security Threats 

The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a global crisis that touches many areas of everyday life. Across much of the world, individuals and businesses see their way of life threatened by this dangerous pandemic.

The threats touch so many elements of existence, perhaps most obviously when it comes to health and personal finances. In the face of the unfolding crisis, we have seen the very best of humankind. At the individual level, people have stepped in to ensure that friends and family have the help that is needed at this time. Meanwhile, healthcare workers and other frontline members of staff are bravely battling to save lives. 

But the crisis is also, unfortunately, unleashing the very worst of humankind. At a time when there is fear and uncertainty for so many of us, criminals are seeking to take advantage of the situation. In the world of cyber security, we’re seeing perhaps the most active series of threats that we have known. In short, criminals are using the virus as a means to cause harm. 

Increase in phishing attempts 

Here in the UK, experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have been ringing alarm bells about the sort of activity that they have been monitoring. They note, for example, that they have seen a very significant rise in the use of phishing attempts.

Phishing attempts make use of fake emails, often looking very genuine to the recipient. Understanding that many people are particularly vulnerable during this period, criminals have been playing on underlying fears. Bogus emails have been sent that claim to provide links to the latest information on COVID-19. However, when recipients click on such links, they may find that their devices are infected. 

What is the aim of using such techniques? The exact nature of the infections may vary, but it’s often the case that the criminals involved will be looking to extract either money or sensitive information. 

As leading providers of cyber security measures in Aberdeenshire and throughout Scotland, we’re well placed to be able to help in these circumstances. We’re able to assist with reducing cyber attacks, putting in place real time threat prevention that offers peace of mind within any organisation. Our knowledge of the nature of such attacks is comprehensive, ensuring that we’re also well positioned to offer advice on the steps that management and employees can take to enhance levels of protection.

If you’re particularly concerned about phishing attempts, then our previous blog post on the subject offers further insights into that area. 

Malicious websites are on the rise 

But phishing doesn’t represent the only threat right now. Criminals are resorting to all sorts of techniques to target businesses and vulnerable individuals in Aberdeen. There has been a clear increase in the creation of malicious websites too. These websites often serve malware, designed for a variety of purposes. Attacks can sometimes be very sophisticated in their nature, involving ransomware, theft or fraud. Although we can all, as individuals, be on alert for such techniques, the scale of the problem seems likely to increase. 

The spread of the Coronavirus has also seen criminals attempting to impersonate members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and US Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as using banking trojans, attempting to extract money. These threats appear to be increasing in number and are ongoing. 

If you’re concerned about the dangers posed by cyber attacks during the Coronavirus pandemic, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Aberdeen Cyber Security. Our experienced team can help to recommend, implement and manage a secure IT environment for your business, offering the protection that you need. 

Written by: Dale Sutherland

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