Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- by Brittany Day
With the dreaded coronavirus rapidly spreading worldwide, staying healthy is unfortunately not the only task demanding your concern. Securing your business email against phishing and fraud is more critical than ever, as cybercriminals are taking advantage of this fearful situation to gain access to sensitive information, infect computer systems with malware and viruses and, in many cases, steal significant amounts of money with deceptive phishing scams.
These scams prey on fear and appear to be from either public institutions or business partners. They exploit the lack of information and conflicting claims surrounding the recent epidemic. Coronavirus-related attacks can contain various different malware variants and typically employ creative and sophisticated social engineering tactics, making them difficult to detect. Guardian Digital CEO Dave Wreski explains, “Phishing is a highly effective tactic in desperate times, as most municipal authorities and companies rely heavily on email to communicate policies, updates and critical information. Cybercriminals recognize and exploit this. Email users need to be especially aware of fraud - taking time to think before clicking on a link or downloading an attachment is more important now than ever.”
One notorious campaign claims to provide a list of “local active infections” of the coronavirus. It includes the logo of the Center for Disease Control Health Alert Newark. When recipients click on a link within the email, they are asked to enter their email login credentials - which then end up in the hands of the threat actors and can be used in account takeovers and dangerous future attacks.
A similar scam claims to offer advice on “how to prevent the spread of influenza”. When victims click on the attached Microsoft Office document, Gandcrab ransomware is downloaded and installed, encrypting the files on the target’s computer.
How to Recognize and Protect Against Email Fraud
Phishing and email fraud are serious threats that all email users face daily. The digital threat landscape is constantly evolving, and modern attacks are more sophisticated and targeted than ever, carrying serious consequences for victims. A successful attack can result in significant downtime, hefty recovery costs and a severely tainted reputation.
While advanced attacks can be very difficult to detect, there are various indications of email fraud that users should be aware of. Tips for recognizing and protecting against fraud include:
- Check for spelling and grammatical errors which can indicate that an email is fraudulent or malicious. Also, keep an eye out for suspicious subject lines and signatures.
- Verify shared links to ensure that they do not lead to fraudulent websites or malicious code.
- Scan all attachments for viruses or malware.
- If an email looks suspicious in any way, make a phone call to the sender to confirm the legitimacy of the email.
- Use strong passwords to protect your accounts. Utilize two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.
- Subscribe to Guardian Digital’s Behind the Shield newsletter - if you haven’t already - to stay informed on the latest email-borne threats and trends and receive tips on how to secure your email.
- Take time to stop and think things through! Thoroughly evaluate each email you receive before clicking on links or downloading attachments.
- Make sure that you have a comprehensive, well-regarded business email security solution in place. Implementing an effective, multi-layered solution is the single best way to safeguard your email from advanced modern attacks.
How to Protect Against Coronavirus-Related Exploits
When it comes to staying safe in the midst of this recent outbreak, email security should undoubtedly be in the forefront of your mind - along with frequent handwashing! Luckily, there are various best practices that users can engage in to avoid falling for coronavirus-related phishing scams. They include:
- Be wary of emails claiming to come from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). Remember that health agencies are not sending emails about the coronavirus. In order to get updates and information, you must visit these organizations’ websites or your state or local health department.
- Be suspicious of suggested “miracle cures” - there's no cure for the coronavirus at this point, so anyone claiming to have vaccinations or other treatments for the virus should be ignored.
- Do your research before purchasing a product or donating to a charity.
Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security: Peace of Mind through Fully-Managed Business Email Vigilance
When it comes to securing business email accounts against persistent, targeted threats such as phishing, impersonation and fraud, not all solutions are able to keep pace with cybercriminals’ increasingly sophisticated and deceptive attacks. Many out-of-the-box solutions fail to address businesses’ individual needs, and don’t offer adequate customer support.
Guardian Digital Cloud Email Security eliminates these common and problematic shortcomings. Guardian Digital takes the time to build a strong relationship with each customer, learning about businesses’ key assets, mail patterns and methods of operation - valuable information that can be used to provide superior protection.
EnGarde Cloud Email Security offers threat-ready, fully-managed defense against the most targeted and sophisticated phishing campaigns. Key features and benefits of EnGarde’s phishing protection include:
- Advanced defenses against social engineering and impersonation attacks using state-of-the-art intelligence techniques to detect threats in real-time
- Neutralizes threats associated with malicious attachments and links using next-generation URL filtering and scanning of broad file types including RTF files, Batch files, and VBS files
- Email encryption and sender authentication protocols detect fake From addresses and block them automatically
- Tighter security, adaptive implementation and eliminated risk of vendor lock-in through the use of a transparent, collaborative development approach
- Scalable cloud-based system simplifies deployment and increases availability
- Expert, caring around-the-clock customer support services
Interested in learning more about how Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security could help you rest easy in this time of fear? Speak with a security expert today.
- Thinking Strategically about Email Security in 2021 and Beyond
- There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- Behind the Shield: EnGarde Cloud Email Security Explained
- Open Source: A Powerful, Yet Underutilized Weapon against Phishing & Zero-Day Attacks
- Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- Buyer's Guide to Office 365 & Workspace Email Security
- EnGarde Cloud Email Security: The Logical Solution to Cyber Risk in Office 365
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Top Email Security Risks in 2021 - How To Set Your Business Up for Safety & Success
- Ransomware By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- SMB Ransomware Warnings & How To Prevent an Attack
- Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs
- Top Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online in a Work-from-Home World
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: A Passionate Engineer Brings the Power of Open Source to Business Email Security
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- The Modern Email Threat Landscape: Where Traditional Defenses Fall Short
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How to maintain security when employees work remotely: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright - Beware of These Sneaky Seasonal Phishing Scams
- Migrating Business Email: The Hidden Complexities You Need To Know
- How Do SPF, DMARC & DKIM Secure Email Against Sender Fraud?
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Complete Guide on Email Security & Threats Faced by Organizations
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Are Zero-Day Attacks & How Can I Prevent Them?
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail