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Telecommuting May Keep the Coronavirus Away, But May Increase the Risk of Computer Viruses

March 21, 2020

Posted in Business Start Ups, Company Operating, COVID-19, Employment Law

Many, if not all, of your employees may be working from home, socially distancing themselves because of the coronavirus. Though keeping your company open during these strange times is a priority, if you don’t do it right, you be opening yourself up to hackers. If you lose sensitive information and others are harmed, you may face legal action too.

Kicking someone when they’re down is only something the worst people would do, and that includes hackers. The economy is under tremendous stress, we are going into unchartered economic and public health territory, and hackers are ever alert to vulnerabilities, according to an article in The Hill.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency, issued an alert earlier this month describing cyber vulnerabilities that exist if employees work from home.

There could be cyber-attacks on virtual private networks (VPNs) that allow access to an organization’s files remotely. VPNs make it easier to telecommute, but they also create an attractive way for hackers to get into your system.  CISA suggests VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices used remotely be updated with the latest software patches and security configurations.

There are also the ever-present phishing emails that target teleworkers to steal their usernames and passwords. CISA stated companies need to remind employees of the dangers of malicious emails, particularly those discussing the coronavirus, which try to get concerned recipients to click on them so computer viruses can be downloaded.

Cyber group Check Point released research finding cybercriminals were using concerns about coronavirus to create spam. Since January, more than 4,000 coronavirus-themed web domains have popped up, about 5 percent being suspicious and 3 percent malicious. These websites are likely used as part of email campaigns trying to get recipients to click on dangerous links.

Kellermann, the head of cybersecurity strategy at cyber group VMware Carbon Black, told The Hill hackers are targeting executives and others in positions of power who are working on less secure networks. Company issued laptops may be protected but an employee’s home network may not be. The use of public Wi-Fi also opens up more cyber threats.

A cyber-attack may put ransomware on your system. Your data and documents could be encrypted and out of reach unless you pay a ransom, potentially paralyzing your company until the issue is resolved.

A hack could also result in the loss of financial and personal information about your employees, contractors, clients, and customers. This type of hack could potentially result in legal claims against your company due to its failure to secure this information.

Criminals take advantage of people and businesses who are stressed and distracted. While focused on one threat, you may let another damage your company. If you haven’t learned by now, running a business can be a high-stakes, high-risk game of whack-a-mole. Do your best not to lose the game.

If you are in this situation, call us now for a COVID-19 Strategy Session, and let’s talk about how we can help you to run your business without worrying about the underlying legal consequences. Call us now at (714) 415-2007 or reserve your spot by clicking the link: