Data security has always been an issue for business, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult. Many organizations are experiencing an onslaught of coronavirus related attacks, especially in the healthcare industry.

COVID-19 and Cybercrime

Cybercriminals are opportunistic. It makes sense that they would take advantage of a huge crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The huge rise in telework compounds the problem. Sometimes the only way businesses can keep going is to have employees work from home. While this is a great way to slow the spread of infection, it’s also promoting malware infections and other cyber threats.

How are Remote Offices Prone to Cyberattack?

Human Error
When people work from home, they seem to be less vigilant. Possibly they are less focused because of the typical distractions of home and family. In many cases, they are also working outside the enterprise-level firewalls and other security precautions that they are used to. This is resulting in more security incidents.

For example, on August 20, 2020, a remote worker with Public Health Wales in the U.K. accidentally uploaded the personal information of 18,105 COVID-positive Welsh residents, where it was viewed 56 times before the breach was discovered.

Phishing and Ransomware
Most people working from home are obviously using email, which is the main threat vector for the phishing attacks that distribute ransomware and other malware. Hackers know that users are more likely to click on Coronavirus related emails, and there are a lot more business users working remotely right now. It’s a perfect storm.

Credential Hacking and Brute Force Attacks
Last year, businesses were already experiencing a rise in data issues due to credential theft or brute-force hacking. This year, with the rise in remote work, cybercriminals are doing even better with these tactics. Again, we blame the lowered level of user focus and security solutions outside the office.

Healthcare Organizations May Face the Biggest Ransomware Risks

It’s obvious why cybercriminals often go after healthcare organizations:

  • • They keep large amounts of personal information and credit card credentials.
  • • They typically pay large penalties following a security breach and are more likely to pay quickly.
  • • They urgently need access to their data to care for patients.

Healthcare Organizations Are Taking Even More Hits

If COVID-19 isn’t making things tough enough for healthcare organizations, their cybersecurity is subject to even more threats.

  • • Hackers are zeroing in on telehealth as more people use it.
  • • Scrutiny has risen as other breaches are revealed.
  • • Contact tracing applications are raising concerns about patient privacy. Even if these applications are built to be secure, many people don’t feel safe using them.

These are difficult times for business security. Give Quikteks a call at (973) 882-4644. Our professionals can set you up with remote security solutions that fit your budget.

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