How to stop coronavirus being used to infect your technology

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Everyone must take responsibility for cyber-security, particularly as hackers have ramped up their attacks during lockdown.

They have sought to prey on vulnerabilities, with the weakest links for many organisations the people who are almost certainly not alert to the latest threats.

TheBusinessDesk.com hosted a cyber-security webinar in partnership with Altinet and Boxphish, focused on the human element in staying safe.

EY’s Sarah Tulip had a clear message for business owners and senior managers.

“If you’re not talking about it at a board level, then you’re not taking it seriously,” she said.

“Security is a people problem – and it is everybody’s problem. If you own a business, and something happens to your business, it’s your reputation and it’s your trust that goes with your clients and your customers.

“You need to be taking this seriously. Mistakes made by employees because you haven’t taken the time to train and develop them, and make sure that they are aware of this, could be the thing that brings down your organisation.”

Boxphish’s Nick Deacon Elliott agreed that everyone needs to take responsibility for ensuring the business stays safe.

He said: “There’s a viewpoint within quite a lot of businesses that cyber safety sits with IT and it absolutely doesn’t. It is a responsibility of everybody within the company.

“Part of the work that needs to be done is to address that, so that people feel accountable for their behaviour. It’s not on to say ‘our IT director takes care of cyber’, it’s you as an individual.

“But if the collective look after the way they’re working and individually behaving, then as a business you’re going to be in a much better place.”

Hackers are always looking for new ways to hook people in by exploiting vulnerabilities, and lockdown has created fresh opportunities.

“The reason there is a huge rise in cyber attempts and crime is that people are scared,they’re concerned, they’re lost and they’re distracted,” said Tulip.

“It is preying on people at their worst time – business owners might be waiting on an email about a CBILS loan, individuals might be waiting on the details of a personal loan that’s going to bolster their family.”

Employees also need to be updated on the changing nature of threats, argued Altinet’s director Henry Doyle.

“The thing that is shocking is the amount of fraudsters that are now leveraging Covid-19 to cause more harm and infiltrate companies’ networks. 80% of cybercrime is currently leveraging Covid-19.

“If you think about the training that companies might have done eight months ago on cybersecurity, none of that would have incorporated Covid-19.”

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