Cyber threat landscape grows during COVID-19

  • POSTED BY: Rothbury |     CATEGORY:

  • PUBLISHED: May 25 , 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has opened up opportunities for cyber criminals all around the world. Businesses are facing increased vulnerability and cyber security has become even more of a challenge. 

Cyber criminals are capitalising on new opportunities and have started implementing techniques and tactics designed to take advantage of the situation the COVID-19 disruption presents. As more people work remotely around the country, the pressure on IT departments to provide remote working solutions and build up network capability has increased, opening up potential security gaps.

In some cases, security controls like Access Management Systems and Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateways have been bypassed. Even those that have successfully set up secure remote access for employees working outside their organisation’s network are operating in less secure environments. We can carry out an obligation free Insurance review for you today click here.

The job of security has fallen to employees with many now using their personal devices and networks for remote working. Businesses no longer have control over what software is downloaded and what devices are being used for. Companies providing remote access could find it difficult to control user authentication and ensure the person accessing their system is who they say they are.

With a recent increase in virtual meetings like Zoom, attackers have been busy targeting video conferencing software to eavesdrop on sensitive business conference calls. Preventing unwanted attendees from hijacking your meeting by setting a password has now become the norm. CERT NZ and NCSC highlight key security controls for remote working that you can implement for your business.

Scams and online fraud have risen too during COVID-19. Fraudulent offers of medication and protective masks recently emerged as a business model. Scammers are asking for charity donations for studies, doctors and victims affected by COVID-19, using social platforms with messages containing malicious links or attachments. 

‘Watering hole’ attacks have increased and are being carried out across some COVID-19 related websites. Cyber criminals infect these websites knowing that large groups of people will visit them and then become infected too. Some of the COVID-19 maps have been reported to be spreading Malware. More information on COVID-19 themed scams can be found on the CERT NZ website 

Email communication presents another constant challenge. Ninety-two percent of malware is delivered by email so company email security and user education is critical.  

Businesses need to ensure their cyber security measures are robust but even then, despite best efforts, the scale of cyber security threats means that things can still go wrong. A recent study carried out by computer giant IBM found that the average time to identify a breach in 2019 was seven months and the average lifecycle of a breach lasted almost eleven months. 

Security measures alone are not enough. Cyber Insurance protection is your next best line of defence.  

What can your business do right now?

  • Assess your increased exposure at this time
  • Talk to your broker about getting the right type of Cyber Insurance cover for your business. 

Benefits can include:

  • Access to a dedicated and experienced team of experts should an attack occur
  • Protection from loss where you are legally liable to others
  • Cover for your financial loss if your business is interrupted due to a cyber event

Cyber Insurance should be part of your Business plan. It forms a fundamental piece of your Business Continuity to safeguard you from Business Interruption. Cyber Insurance will protect you from cyber events and both will help your business return to the same financial position it was in before a loss or event.

Find out some of the benefits Cyber Insurance can offer your business here 

Click here to get an obligation free Insurance review from one of our brokers today.



About the Author

Name: Rothbury        

Like many of our business insurance clients we're a majority NZ owned company that was started by enterprising Kiwis in 1950. Today, New Zealand is a different place to when we first started. As a consequence, the way…
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Like many of our business insurance clients we're a majority NZ owned company that was started by enterprising Kiwis in 1950. Today, New Zealand is a different place to when we first started. As a consequence, the way we respond to your business and personal protection needs has evolved and matured.

While our core business is still related to creating the best insurance solutions for you, our motivation and passion now lie in being unconditional advocates for our diverse range of clients. In other words people like you.


Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.

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