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Covid-19 and information security

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Health security on the one hand, IT security on the other: two worlds collide!

With the recently issued recommendations to self-isolate, work is now relocating from controlled and secure work environments, primarily to homes and small-scale family IT infrastructure. A growing number of people are therefore currently working from home, sometimes with a PC which their organisation has no control over, or sometimes with a workstation that does not allow optimal secured access to the organisation's data. It wouldn't take much for someone with malicious intent, or cyber criminals, to take advantage of the exceptional arrangements in light of the current situation, or a lower level of security, to hack into systems or obtain confidential data!

Covid-19, phishing, ransomware and other risks: cyber hackers riding on the Covid-19 wave are on the prowl

The users of IT infrastructures are the first targets of cyber hackers, especially in times of crisis. Stay vigilant!

An example of a common hacking scam? You are used to sending a regular report to a customer on their business e-mail, but out of the blue you receive a request from them to send it to a different e-mail address: they inform you that they are working out of the office and that they can't connect to their business e-mail. An alternative scam: a customer usually calls you from their work number, but is now calling you from a mobile phone number you don't recognise. Both hacking scams, which are very simple but highly effective in taking advantage of the current situation, are perfectly authentic.

As such, to the extent possible, be especially careful to check the references of anyone who might communicate with you in a different way than usual.

What else to do?

As a user and/or IT professional, be extra vigilant!
Consult the list of best practice published on safeonweb.be or on the site of the CCB. To learn how to recognise Corona-related phishing emails, don't hesitate to read the dedicated article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Also, don't put it off any longer to practise good habits:

  • Follow the principle of Descartes: Be sceptical! Be alert!
  • Protect yourself, your employees and your customers
  • Immediately inform IRISline of any suspicious activities: our helpdesk is at your service from Monday to Friday between 8h and 18h, by mail or by phone at 02/801.00.00.
This article is part of an information security awareness programme of the BRIC. Other useful reminders and recommendations will follow on a regular basis.