Hackers tend to thrive when there is a lot of confusion and distraction amid a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, as many firms’ general counsels and executives are focused on safety and other emergency measures, so law firm Eversheds Sutherland has provided some pointers, in a legal alert at its website, on how advisors and others can remain on guard to avoid cybersecurity disasters.
First, as always, you should “be wary of clicking on links embedded in emails and entering in credentials,” the firm noted. “There is no doubt we will see an uptick in phishing emails appearing to come from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, other health-related organizations, or even from companies’ own HR departments,” it said. Therefore, employees “should be advised to look carefully at the sender’s email address (especially after the @ symbol), and to hover cursors over links to see where they really resolve,” the firm pointed out.
Also crucial: You should “ensure proper remote access,” the firm said, explaining: “Accessing company servers remotely without using a secure connection, such as a virtual private network, exposes those servers to hackers. If employees are working from home because of the virus and have not enabled security features on their home WiFi, and are not logging in via a secure connection, the individual and the company are more vulnerable to cyber attacks.”
Of course, supervisors, IT experts and others can talk until they are blue in the face, and there will always be somebody at a company who will always click on a link they should be avoiding or access internal networks inappropriately. However, all is not lost because “it is how the wider team reacts and responds to attacks that makes all the difference,” the firm said.