Cyber crime – why scams have risen in lockdown

Whenever there is a major event, it provides opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit it.

The coronavirus pandemic has therefore seen an increase in cybercrime, with Action Fraud (the UK’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre) reporting a 400% rise in coronavirus-related fraud reports in March alone.

Why has lockdown led to a rise in cybercrime?

During lockdown, we began to rely more than ever on the digital realm for all aspects of our lives.

For some, the sudden transition into lockdown brought a lot of stress and anxiety, causing people to drop their guard when it came to phishing and scam emails. But also, the fraudulent communications themselves became more sophisticated, taking advantage of the feelings of uncertainty.

A key example of this was the imitations of messages from official bodies, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), HRMC and the DWP, asking for personal details or donations towards the NHS and key workers, all feeding off the worries of a population desperate for more information and reassurance.

As the popularity of online delivery services soared, the names of trusted high street brands were seized upon by criminals, as well as subscription-based companies such as Netflix, while websites selling non-existent PPE and sanitiser emerged.

Working from home also caused many people to be less cautious when using business accounts and left them with no-one to ask for an immediate second opinion if they received something that looked suspicious. The IT arrangements for working from home may also not have been as secure.

So, what can you do?

The financial and reputational damage caused by cybercrime can be catastrophic for business. Unfortunately, the weakest link is people and that’s why phishing emails continue to be the number one tactic used to feed cyber criminals. Educating your employees about cybercrime is now more important than ever so Investing in training could save you thousands in damages.

In addition, you need to understand where your vulnerabilities are so that you can work on fixing them because if you don't find them - criminals will. A gap analysis analyses you current state of affairs and compares it to where you should be so that you can see what needs to improve.

Contact us to talk about how you can improve your cyber security position.

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