Cyber Security
July 21, 2021

Email Phishing During Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has brought forward a variety of concerns for businesses across Australia, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity. As small businesses continue to monitor their employees’ online activity to ensure the safety of company data, scammers and hackers are finding creative ways to target employees working from home.

One of the most commonly observed techniques is phishing. Hackers and cyber scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by sending fraudulent emails and messages that attempt to trick you or your employees into opening virus-riddled attachments or clicking on malicious links.

Scamwatch reports over 2,000 Coronavirus-related scam reports

Scamwatch has reported over $700,000 in losses from businesses around Australia since the coronavirus pandemic due to phishing. While businesses continue to soldier on as the coronavirus shows no signs of stopping, the serious threat of ransomware is evolving tremendously.

Don’t trust ‘myGov’ links

Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing further information on changes and developments in the coronavirus pandemic. In examples provided by Scamwatch, text messages and emails appear to come from ‘Gov’ and ‘myGov’ sources, containing a malicious link that claims to hold more information COVID-19. Often, they also claim to provide information on financial assistance.

It’s important to not click any links, even if they appear to be from ‘myGov’ – instead, log into your account securely to verify whether there are any messages for you.

Is it really your bank contacting you?

Scammers are also reaching out claiming to be well known businesses including banks, travel agents and insurance providers. Using various excuses pertaining to COVID-19, they’ll ask for personal and financial information before gaining remote access to your computer or seeking payment for a service. The World Health Organisation has also flagged these malicious attacks, releasing a statement encouraging businesses and independent users to practice caution when receiving any sort of message that could potentially be a threat.

The devastating effects of phishing

The impacts of phishing can be devastating on a company. Telstra reported a Melbourne-based construction business discovered they had been robbed after their client informed them of a paid invoice. After a deep dive, the construction business realised the invoice received contained a bank account number that did not match the one sent to the client. After suspecting foul play, the company appealed to an IT security company, however it was too late and the criminals fleeced the business of more than $100,000.

Preventing phishing attacks for your business

Ensuring staff awareness of online risks including phishing is the best way to improve resilience of your organisation against these kinds of threats. Whether you are a small business or a not-for-profit organisation, investing in managed IT services can make a real difference in the security of sensitive data and information. IT experts can also help to train employees on ways to prevent phishing attacks or recover from one should it occur.

If you’re one of the hundreds of businesses across Australia struggling with the current cyber-landscape we are being forced to understand, the IT Department can better help your company evolve and adapt to these new circumstances.

For additional information on how our team of IT experts can assist you in preventing phishing and other cybersecurity attacks, give us a call today at 1300 10 10 40.

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