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Cybersecurity: COVID-19

Rise in Cybercrime as Criminals Exploit COVID-19 Pandemic

23 April 2020

COVID-19 continues to spread across the world and cybercrime levels have been rising with it. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic as well as the increased time spent online during social-distancing to trick people into releasing sensitive information. There has been a huge rise in COVID-19 themed phishing scams where criminals send emails that appear to come from hospitals or government agencies in order to trick people into downloading an attachment or giving them personally identifying information. The World Health Organisation recently warned of criminals sending emails posing as the WHO for such purposes.The rise in cybercrime also poses a severe threat to businesses who have been forced to switch to working from home during the pandemic; many with little time to prepare for the risks or train employees in recognizing cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the increased numbers of people working remotely to deploy ransomware attacks in order to exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s security. There has also been a rise in the use of social engineering tactics to gain access to confidential data. The increase in cybercrime has led to soaring demand for cybersecurity solutions from companies such as Barracuda Networks, Cisco Systems. BAE Systems, McAfee, Symantec, Radware and Illusive Networks Ltd.

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