Covid-19 cybercrime warning

Cyber criminals could take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to hack the computers of people working from home, the national security minister warned today.

Wayne Caines said that there were reports from other countries that “malicious parties are already exploiting this situation for phishing attacks, to spread malware, hoaxes and other threatening activities”.

Mr Caines added: “Given that greater numbers of people are working remotely from home, organizations are exposed to increased threats to systems and data compromises - it is therefore essential that good security practices are followed.

He said that managers and business owners should:

• Alert staff of the potential for increased phishing attempts and other cyber-attacks

• Instruct staff to verify by phone or an alternative channel any messages or emails that appear to be from a colleague but make an unusual request

• Advise staff to obtain their information from trusted official sources.

• Ensure users are only granted the minimum access to information and systems required to do their jobs

• Require staff and contractors to maintain up to date security patches and anti-malware on personal systems used to access organizational resources

• Always require strong passwords and multi-factor authentication whenever possible

• Ensure employees have signed an acceptable use policy and remind them of their responsibilities to protect sensitive company and customer information and to only use that information according to company policies, for example, not saving copies on personal devices or accounts

• Ensure that physical premises and data assets are adequately secured while offices are unoccupied.