A sharp increase in cyber-attacks was recently reported by Hiscox. Attacks on small companies rose from 33% to 47% and medium sized businesses 36% to 63% across UK, Europe and the USA.

In these unprecedented times the number of people working remotely during the past 2 months has increased significantly and cyber criminals are working to exploit these opportunities.

Smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers can all be exploited in cyber attacks.

Phishing emails

Unfortunately cyber criminals will take advantage of any opportunity and Coronavirus scams are on their list. Action Fraud, The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has reported a 400% increase in Coronavirus related fraud reports in March 2020.

Educating employees

As cyber incidents are on the increase educating employees to identify phishing emails is key. Fraudulent emails could include invitations to investment schemes encouraging people to take advantage of the Coronavirus downturn. Some of these can look reasonably genuine and convincing! Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, reveal personal or financial information in an email and never respond to unsolicited emails that ask for your personal or financial details.

EasyJet Cyber Attack has affected approximately 9 million customers

It was reported earlier this month that EasyJet admitted a “highly sophisticated cyber-attack” that has affected approximately 9 million customers. We would strongly recommend anyone who has an EasyJet account to change their password to something not used on any other site. It is also worth changing the password if used on any other site which would have used the same original EasyJet password.

Home Working and Remote Working Cyber Threats

It goes without saying that the Coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed the way we work and many businesses have been forced to work from home.

In recent months technological advancements have allowed many businesses to work from home with firms operating almost at a ‘business as usual’ capacity. A remote work force however, can make it more difficult to monitor and contain threats to your IT security. There is also a huge increase in the amount of traffic accessing networks remotely potentially via unsecured home WIFI’s. The IT setup within many offices is such that all employees connect to a secure encrypted server and when employees access your company’s systems remotely, the risk to that exposure increases.

Ensure strong passwords are in place and software updates are applied regularly

  • Attackers will try the most common passwords (eg password1) or use publicly available information to try and access accounts. If successful, they can then use this same password to access other accounts.
  • It is important that employees create strong and memorable passwords for important accounts and store passwords securely
  • Software updates should regularly be applied to all devices
  • Do not allow employees to download programs or apps that have not been checked by your IT provider.

Ensure your IT support company have checked all employee devices that could be used to access company systems and have installed anti-virus software, firewalls and encryption programs.

As always, if you have any questions relating to your insurance or to obtain a cyber insurance quotation for your business please contact Gary Philip  or one of the team on 020 3907 7866