As schools and offices shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to take advantage of remote working and studying.

While it is essential for workers and students to move online, the risk for cybercrime has increased significantly. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for cybercriminals, and they refuse to let it go to waste.

There is an increased number of phishing emails pretending to address COVID-19, fake apps, and fake links. According to Google, there have been over 18 million predatory emails that relate to COVID-19. Most executives feel that they have an increased risk of cybercrimes.

As we go through these unpredictable times, it is necessary to adjust to the new normal.

James Forbis, an IT services professional in Cincinnati offers the most important things to consider for the well-being of your business include;

1. Watch Out for Phishing Attacks

Phishing has become one of the most common forms of attacks from cybercriminals. They send out emails that may look like legitimate COVID-19 notices. Attached to the emails, there may be malicious links promising to deliver more information. Phishing attacks are likely to work, especially now that it is common to receive coronavirus information. Cybercriminals realize that the mere mention of ‘coronavirus,’ ‘pandemic,’ or ‘COVID-19’ is enough to get many people’s attention. It is vital to ensure that all your members of staff know how to spot phishing campaigns, especially when working remotely.

2. Remote Working

Even though remote working is convenient, it has plenty of disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage of all is the lack of security. Home computers are not as secure as office computers. They may lack encryption, antivirus software, firewalls, end-point protection, and intrusion prevention systems.

Employees do not always have access to modern computers and operating systems. They are, therefore, at great risk of vulnerabilities.

Business executives have the responsibility to ensure that their employees know how to maintain safety while working at home.

3. Watering Hole Attacks

Cybercriminals may try to lure you into their infected sites using sources that seem legitimate. They may pretend to be providing you with COVID-19 information. Infected sites may have malware.

Recommendations to Protect Remote Workers

There are a few practices that companies can implement to maintain the safety of remote workers. Some of them include:

Using Updated Devices

Remote workers who use outdated devices are likely to be victims of cyberattacks. Providing them with updated devices is a great way to minimize the risk of cyberattacks. While most employees may have their computers, their operating systems may be outdated. Corporate-owned devices are a great way to promote security.

Implement the Principle of Least Privilege

Your remote workers should never have access to data that they do not need. Provide them with just enough to go through their jobs. This way, you won’t incur major losses in case of a security breach.

Determine End-Point Protection

What is the ideal end-point protection for your remote workers? Even though many consoles can help you manage all the remote workstations, you may not have much control over home computers. Come up with a policy to ensure that all your remote workers use an antivirus on machines that they use to access the company’s resources. End-point protection ensures that all entry points are free of security threats.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Remote workers have to use cloud services or authorized remote access. They should use multi-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection.

Even though cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to spread cyberattacks, there are lots of ways for businesses to protect themselves. Protecting remote workers and learning how to identify phishing attacks are some of the most common ways to stay safe.