March 19, 2020 - Hawthorne, NJ - Guardian Digital- a leader in business email security- warns phony emails concerning Coronavirus-related issues are being used in phishing attacks to steal businesses’ login credentials and financial details.
These new, targeted threats are especially attractive to thieves during crises such as COVID-19. As 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.”
As this crisis continues and more employees are being asked to work at home, business email volume increases- with more users relying heavily on cloud-based platforms like Office 365. With this increased volume comes a significant increase in malicious activity connected to the Coronavirus. These phishing tactics are designed to play on an employee’s fear. One such ploy involves threat actors posing as HR departments purportedly releasing “urgent” COVID-19 protocols and other seemingly harmless inter-office emails.
How to Recognize and Protect Against Email Fraud
Phishing and email fraud pose a serious threat to all email users, and these attacks carry a heightened risk amid the recent COVID-19 outbreak. A successful attack can result in significant downtime, hefty recovery costs and a severely tainted reputation.
While modern exploits 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 pandemic, Guardian Digital urges you to keep email security in the forefront of your mind! 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.
Our Unwavering Commitment to Our Clients
Guardian Digital recognizes this heightened threat environment and assures our clients that we will always provide an impregnable level of security to combat these new and sophisticated threats.
While internet security experts are currently stressing frequent security patches and updates as a method to stay abreast of the thieves, it should be noted that Guardian Digital is already ahead of the curve in this respect.
Guardian Digital Cloud Email Security has never relied on patches, as it constantly updates in real time. This important feature is a result of our collaborative, open-source approach to business email security.
For two decades, Guardian Digital has always provided our clients with exceptional protection from the latest phishing and malware attacks. We provide a process, not a “product”. A fully-managed, 24/7 remote monitoring process, coupled with constantly updating, evolving threat protection that identifies new threats- all performed by our engineers- and most-importantly- all in real time.
Guardian Digital’s commitment to providing our clients with a worry free digital landscape has always been our priority. We are confident that our cloud-based solution- and our team of engineers- will fully secure our clients from any and all new threats during this difficult time.