Quest News™

April 9, 2020

Staying Cyber Secure


In a time of social distancing, more people are turning to the internet to connect out of necessity for work and education. Aside from health concerns and keeping employees safe amid COVID-19, companies also must stay vigilant to ensure their cyber security. Unfortunately, the health crisis has not deterred cyber criminals from seeking to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals.

Cyber criminals are using phishing emails with such subject lines such as “Corona Virus Safety Measures” or “Health Alerts”. This type of social engineering plays into our natural human emotion especially during this trying time as people want to have the latest updates during a crisis. The emails usually contain malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends to exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

With many businesses shifting to working from home, now more than ever, education for employees regarding cybersecurity best practices is a necessity. Make sure to your employees know how to recognize a phishing attempt. Here are a few tips to remember to help you stay cyber secure:

  • Reputable companies will not request sensitive information via email.
  • If you receive a request to send payments to a new bank, call your client/vendor to ensure it is a legitimate request.
  • Emails that contain typos and bad punctuation are a sign that it is not legitimate. Cybercriminals make these mistakes intentionally to bypass security firewalls!
  • Emails containing a generic or impersonal greeting could be a bad sign. Most reputable companies will personalize the email with your name.

Having firewalls that could prevent the possibility of even receiving a phishing email is another way to help stay cyber secure. Firewalls can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your websites, email and other sources of information that can be accessed from the web.

Certain types of social engineering may not be covered under your current cyber liability policy and this could result in a costly exposure to you. Don’t wait until you are a victim to find out if you have coverage. For more information on our Cyber Defense Package, contact your local Avalon representative or click here.

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