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Businesses have had to grapple with dramatic changes to the way they operate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The public health concerns have forced millions of American workers to shift to working from home, often using personal devices and home wireless networks to connect.
What’s more, businesses were forced to quickly launch new tools to help their employees stay productive and connected. Zoom usage, for example, reached 200 million daily users in March 2020, compared to a yearly daily high of 10 million in 2019. The videoconferencing software has been the subject of hacks and security issues that have forced the company to scramble, halt all feature development work, and focus on security and privacy fixes instead.
Companies are dealing with significant challenges today, trying to maintain revenue streams while navigating considerable business disruptions. Also, employees are struggling with a new working environment, economic and health worries, and, in many cases, caring for children now learning from home. It’s a massive challenge for everyone, and it’s exposed to vulnerabilities that hackers are exploiting.
Interpol noted that the crisis had generated a surge in cyberattacks, many trying to play on fears, unfamiliarity with technologies, and a keen desire for information. Criminals are buying thousands of web domains with names related to COVID-9 and coronavirus as ways to lure unsuspecting users into providing access to business systems mistakenly.
“Cybercriminals are attacking the computer networks and systems of individuals, businesses, and even global organizations at a time when cyber defenses might be lowered due to the shift of focus to the health crisis,” Interpol stated in a recent web post.
Among the most common attacks are emails or texts that claim to be from an official from a government agency with information about the pandemic or government support. However, these phishing attempts contain links or attachments that, if activated, can embed malware on a personal computer. Once a system is infiltrated, hackers can steal data or launch a ransomware attack that holds your website or data hostage until payment is made.
Here are a few tips to keep your data, employees, and systems safe during this challenging time:
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