In the current climate of COVID-19 we are all having to adapt to new ways of working, which has brought challenges for many businesses. One of the significant challenges we are all adapting to is working from home. Using our home Wi-Fi to connect into our business systems, has brought new risks for data protection and cyber security, specifically in relation to those seeking to exploit the COVID-19 situation for their own gain.
The UK Information Commissioners Office and the National Cyber Security Centre have highlighted that the number of attacks being carried out by cyber criminals has increased. These criminals use fake emails to lure their victims, by stating they have links to important updates in connection with COVID-19, which when clicked on result in devices being infected with viruses. Some cyber criminals have impersonated the World Health Organisation, who issued a warning of fraudulent emails in February of this year. Warnings have also been issued by the US Centre for Disease Control and numerous other organisations around the world, including in the UK and the Isle of Man. A number of these scams are targeting industries susceptible to shipping disruption such as manufacturing, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
Many businesses will have provided employees at all levels with training and guidance about spotting suspicious emails which, in normal circumstances, would place them in good stead. However, given the current heightened tensions, there is no time like the present to remind everyone how to spot and deal with suspicious emails and mitigate cyber security risks.
Some indications that an email is not all it appears to be are:
- rather than being addressed to you by name it is addressed to "Valued customer", "friend" or "colleague";
- the overall layout of the email is of poor quality;
- the email contains poor grammar, punctuation or spelling;
- there is a veiled threat in the email asking you to act urgently; or
- the sender's name does not sound genuine
If such an email is received, try to check any claims being made via other means. If it purports to be from your bank, call the bank to verify that they sent the email or try checking some of the wording in the email using an internet search engine.
Stay safe online. At a time when all business face challenging conditions, it is more important than ever to avoid the costs, both financial and reputational, which arise when you fall victim to cyber crime.
If you have any questions surrounding data protection and cyber security, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Long & Humphrey, Advocates and Notaries Public, The Old Courthouse, Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1LD
Long & Humphrey offers services across a range of legal specialisms including: Corporate & Commercial, Employment, Employment-based and Points Based System (PBS) Immigration, Insolvency, Licensing, Dispute Resolution, Public law (including Doleance / Judicial Review), Private Client, and Property.
Long & Humphrey is the trading name of Long & Humphrey Advocates Limited, registered in the Isle of Man under Company Registration Number: 131896C