Cybercrime in the pandemic

News and information from the Advent IM team.

From Advent IM MD, Mike Gillespie.

In a few short months the words ‘terrorism’, ‘conflict’ and ‘war’ have all but disappeared from our news programming. ‘Pandemic’, ‘coronavirus’ and COVID-19 now dominate not ony news but everyday conversatons, social media interactions and what feels like very waking moment. Sadly, 2020 has brought fear, uncertainty and financial hardship to many. Whole communities are in self-imposed isolation with over 1.5 million people facing 12 weeks of total shielding.

In any period of crisis or hardship, criminals will always look for a leverage in order to exploit the unwary. The current CV-19 pandemic is no different and the criminals are still without conscience.

Recently we have seen a spate of hardship fund type phishing and smishing (using text message) scams going round, police have reported nefarious individuals performing fake stop and checks issuing on the spot fines and someone unsuccessfully tried to blag their way into Bradford Royal Infirmary posing as a doctor, presumably to steal supplies/drugs.

All this shows that all the good practice organisations have put in place over the last few years, all the excellent education and the implementing of testing such as red teaming, is continuing to help them to protect themselves. However, if we are to continue to protect our organisations and our people in the long term we must not rest on our laurels.

We have a whole new demographic of our workforce who are working from  home for the first time and who are also isolated from their friends and colleagues who would form their usual peer groups, community and, over coffee, a sanity check on scams and fake news.

It’s vital therefore, that security and data protection communications do not take a back seat in these trying times. Indeed, if anything we must all up our game and that has to include finding new, innovative, effective and interesting ways in interacting and engaging with our workforces. This is for their own good and for the shared good of not only our business ecosystems but the nation.

More importantly, now is the time for security professionals to come together and share their knowledge for the good of society as a whole.


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