London-based security company Redscan has reported that recent Google searches reveal how businesses are focused on how they can adapt to the security and technology challenges posed by remote working.
This does appear to show, perhaps not surprisingly, given the speed at which the spread of the COVID-19 virus led to the temporary closure of business premises and a lockdown, that businesses were not fully prepared to manage business continuity and the challenges created by this rather unexpected threat.
COVID-19 Phishing Scams
Redscan reported that, for the first time in many years, ‘COVID-19’ and not ‘Apple’ has become the most searched-for term in relation to phishing campaigns.
Redscan has also reported that searches for “business continuity plan” reached an all-time high in Google from 8 March to 21 March. Other searched for terms that hit record-levels included “remote working”, “remote access” and “VPN”.
Redscan’s CTO, Mark Nicholls, says on the company’s website that the popularity of “business continuity” as a search term “suggests that many businesses did not already have a continuity plan in place, and now is hardly an ideal time to implement one”.
Mr Nicolls also highlights how the pandemic has provided cybercriminals with “a unique opportunity to target remote employees” and suggests that “employee cyber awareness training and proactive network and endpoint monitoring are more important than ever”.
Collaborative Working Tools
Search terms relating to popular collaborative working tools such as ‘Zoom’ (the most searched for), GoToMeeting, WebEx, Slack and Microsoft Teams have also seen huge search volumes in Google in recent weeks.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The volume of searches for ‘business continuity plan’ suggests that many businesses don’t have one and have been forced into very quickly searching for information about keeping their business going in during the most challenging conditions since WW2.
Last week, research by Check Point indicated that cybercriminals may be targeting the video conferencing app ‘Zoom’ while in recent weeks there have been reports of several different phishing scams going around. These include emails purporting to be from doctors offering details of a vaccine cure that’s been kept secret by the Chinese and UK governments, emails with fake links to disease management policies, fake promises of tax refunds for coronavirus, and fake emails asking for donations to fund the fast development of a COVID-19 vaccine. It appears, therefore, to be a sound observation from Redscan that employee cyber awareness training and network and endpoint monitoring are more important than ever, and businesses need to be extra vigilant as cybercriminals are seeking to exploit this extraordinary situation to steal data, money, and/or install malicious software on business networks.