With COVID-19 infections in Connecticut soaring by 6.1% in recent weeks, Gov. Ned Lamont recently issued a statewide advisory ordering businesses to revert to Phase 2 restrictions. This means that some businesses will have to cancel their reopening plans, while others will have to continue their remote operations to contain the spread of the virus. The governor is also urging people to stay home.
For cybercriminals, it's an excellent opportunity to continue taking advantage of the pandemic to launch COVID-19-themed scams, ransomware attacks, and other cyberattacks. According to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), hackers are exploiting people's fear caused by the pandemic to boost their attacks. In their report, INTERPOL highlighted the following as the most prevalent cyberthreats since the pandemic began:
- Phishing scams
Using COVID-19-themed phishing emails, cybercriminals impersonate health authorities and government officials to trick users into providing their personal information and downloading harmful content.
According to INTERPOL's report, there was a significant rise in ransomware attacks against healthcare providers and critical infrastructure in the first two weeks of April 2020. These attacks came from groups that had been dormant but quickly sprang back into action when they saw an opportunity to exploit the chaos caused by the pandemic.
- Data harvesting malware
Cybercriminals have been deploying data harvesting malware like banking Trojans, information stealers, spyware, and remote access Trojans to vulnerable networks to steal private data, build botnets, and divert money from their victims' bank accounts to their own.
- Fraudulent websites
Because of the increased demand for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, cybercriminals are registering domain names containing "COVID" or "coronavirus" keywords. These websites are designed primarily for phishing attacks and malware deployment.
Fortunately, by providing your employees with security awareness training, you can prevent your business from becoming a victim of these cyberattacks.
What Is Security Awareness Training?
It's often suggested that employees are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Just by negligently clicking on a malicious link, they can jeopardize the security of your entire organization. This is why security awareness training is important. It gives your team a clearer understanding of the various cybersecurity threats and risks facing your business. Security awareness training teaches your employees security best practices to keep your data and network safe.
Benefits of Security Awareness Training
Here are the reasons security awareness training is vital to your organization.
- Security awareness training helps employees identify different cyberthreats and risks that can endanger your business. A well-trained staff can acknowledge security warnings, update applications, software, and operating systems in time, creating a strong cyberdefense against costly data breaches.
- Consumers will be reluctant to do business with companies that are repeatedly hit by cyberattacks. But an organization with cybersecurity-aware employees will have a better reputation because customers feel safer knowing that their private information is secure.
- With the proliferation of cyberattacks, businesses are required to comply with various cybersecurity regulations and standards to ensure their data and the data of their customers and vendors are all kept safe. One key requirement is for organizations to provide security awareness training to their employees. Failure to comply with these requirements results in costly fines and possible revocation of your business license.
How to Ensure a Successful Security Awareness Training
Meet your security awareness training goals by following these guidelines:
- Everyone must participate, including top executives like managers. This will help create a culture of cybersecurity to ensure the confidentiality of private business information.
- Traditional training sessions tend to be dull and boring, which can lead to employees not taking the training seriously. To keep them engaged, consider making humorous videos or fun games that everyone can participate in.
- Security awareness training is not a one-time thing. Cyberthreats are continuously evolving and your business must be able to keep up, which is why training sessions should be held at least once a year.
- Simulations like email phishing testing must be performed occasionally without the knowledge of your employees to see how well they'd react to potential threats.
Cyberthreats are everywhere, and your business can fall victim to one anytime. To keep your organization safe, you should partner with a trusted managed IT services provider like Charles IT. We provide exceptional IT support and cybersecurity services to various businesses in Connecticut. Call us today to learn more!