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Ransomware and Covid-19: Risks grow with increased WFH needs (Includes interview)

A spike in new domains using the coronavirus or COVID-19 as part of the domain name have been discovered by ZDNet. Many of these sites are set up as scams, including ransomware, which could hurt companies who have recently deployed a work from home model.

In addition, malware gangs are now reportedly using coronavirus email lures to trick users into downloading malware. Furthermore, one survey reveals that criminals have 3,600 new domains that contain the “coronavirus” term since February 2020.

READ MORE: Coronavirus is presenting new challenges for remote working

Commenting on this concerning rise in cyber-criminal activity, Russell P. Reeder, CEO of cloud-based data protection company Infrascale, considers how protecting businesses from heightened ransomware risks during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be a key cybersecurity consideration.

Looking at the issue, Reeder notes: “Ransomware is not a new phenomenon; however, it is alarmingly shocking that during a time where the world should be coming together in the fight against COVID-19, opportunistic criminals are preying on unsuspecting people and organizations for personal – usually financial – gain.”

In terms of what businesses can do, Reeder recommends: “The best protection of course is prevention, and education is the key to its success. If something looks nefarious, it usually is. However, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated at making their attacks look legitimate. And again, at a time where people are in search of information and answers, the public’s fake-filters are at an all-time low.”

ALSO READ: Ransomware hits U.S. gas pipeline operator

Following on from these more immediate measures, Reeder states: “Next, of course are protection strategies. Picking up on a potential attack in advance is ideal to prevent it happening. However, if the unfortunate event occurs where an organization is compromised, near immediate remediation is top priority – and it shouldn’t be in the form of paying a ransom.”

However, this challenge can be overcome, says Reeder, “with appropriate backup and disaster recovery in place prior to a compromising event, an organization can quickly restore their data or spin up their operations to restore service. And, with more investments in sophisticated tools or features such as those in Infrascale’s Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery, the point of compromise can also be pinpointed and often prevented.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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