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True North Networks Blog

Cybersecurity During COVID-19: What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself


With so many people working from home right now, the chance for data breach has increased for businesses. For example, there have been Zoom calls getting hacked, transcribed and posted without the hosts knowledge or even crazier stories of intruders popping into Zoom meetings. 

More concerning is identity theft and phishing schemes that have spiked during the quarantine.

I spoke with Eric Cole to outline exactly how you can protect your data and your money. Eric worked at the CIA as a professional hacker from '89 to '97. 

Now is the perfect time for hackers to steal data.

“Traditionally, you had your kids at school, your spouse at their job, and now all of a sudden, everyone's converged,” says Eric. “I have friends who are on an old home computer, their kids are doing homework, they're running businesses, they're filing taxes and that's an exposure point. [Hackers] are sending out a 300% increase in phishing emails about COVID-19 because they know that people are so petrified. In our analysis over the last three weeks, 71% of all emails that you receive that say COVID-19 or corona are actually malware or attacks. Less than 30% are legitimate. So you need to be so careful.”

Another reason for the spike is the remote workforce that arose seemingly overnight.


“The way you support a remote workforce is to either put all your servers accessible from the internet, which is a big exposure or you move everything to the cloud very quickly,” says Eric. “That alone has now increased the attack vectors because that data is now accessible. The second big thing is when you're in a corporate environment at an office building, you have a lot of protection measures. Now that you're working from home, all that's gone. The final piece is attackers love it when people are emotional because when you're emotional, you make irrational decisions.”

More people are clicking on emails they wouldn’t, like ones that say five employees at your company have been infected with COVID-19. Even though it looks suspicious, they can’t help but click on it. 


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