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In the past several months COVID-19 has certainly caused a major disruption to our businesses and our lives, and like clockwork, cybercriminals are out in force, preying on our vulnerabilities.

COVID-19 has made some organizations more vulnerable than ever, and cybercriminals are taking aim at your employees.

Increased Scams Due to the Virus

According to the CBC, Canadians have lost more than $1.2 million to scammers taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 6th, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said they have received 739 reports of scammers attempting to defraud Canadians with scams related to the pandemic. Of those attempts, 178 succeeded.

Some tactics these criminals are using include:

• Phishing Scams – Scammers pretending to be government officials connected to the CERB have been duping email recipients into providing personal information including social insurance numbers and bank account numbers with the pretence of helping them claim the benefit.

• Ransomware – A recent scheme involved messages informing recipients they’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with the request that they fill out what appears to be an Excel form. When users click to enable the content and view the form, their computer becomes infected with a Trojan downloader that installs malicious files. They’ll ask you to pay a ransom for the key to release the data.

• Merchandise Scams – These scams offer the recipient free test kits or masks if they fill out a short survey. These scams are designed to harvest personal information, including credit card numbers.

The Bottom Line…

In this new normal, protecting data is key. In the beginning, many companies took a patchwork approach to protect themselves and their teams to get their remote capability up to speed quickly. As we adjust to this new reality, it’s time to step back, re-evaluate, and make sure your remote workers are protected for their safety, and yours.

With the uncertainty of how business will unfold in the coming weeks and months now is the time to consider a remote strategy that incorporates a strong security component to keep data safe wherever your team is working. Talk to us about an IT Strategy and Risk Assessment and let us help your business, and your team, stay safe.

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