Preparing your staff to recognize and react to potential security risks has become essential. Since the beginning of COVID-19, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has seen a drastic increase in the amount of malicious email and malware scams across the country. For small businesses, this poses a major data security risk, especially with many employees working remotely.

How Does Remote Working Increase Data Security Risks?

Training a staff member to identify potential scams, like malicious emails and malware attempts, is just the first step. While important, these are not the only way that your sensitive information can be compromised. There are three other factors that increase the risk of falling for a scam:

  • Insecure passwords on personal computers. A secure password will always use both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Information sent via public wi-fi connections. When you are on a public wi-fi connection, like at a local coffee shop, any data you send or receive could be seen by a hacker. When you are on a public network, send as little important information as possible.
  • Not staying up to date with scam methods. Hackers and scammers are always trying to find new ways to steal your information or gain access to your accounts. Staying up to date with the latest hacking methods ensures you always know how to identify a scammer.

Worried about keeping up to date with all of this? Contact KIS today to get our team of I.T. professionals to take care of everything for you.

What Type Of Scams Should Your Team Be Aware Of?

1) Fake Business Loan

During this time, a lot of small businesses have been struggling to keep their doors open. Unfortunately, this has caused an increase in business loans. To take advantage of this, scammers have been sending malicious emails posing as fake financial institutions offering loan assistance. In these emails, they either request financial information or attach malware files posing as application forms.

To prevent being scammed, never open emails from financial institutions that were not requested. Any unsolicited emails should be deleted or followed up with by phone or email. Always look for the contact information on the financial institution’s website, rather than using the information in the email.

2) Business Email Scams

In business email scams, hackers create emails that look almost identical to an email you would get from your boss. These emails, also known as CEO email scams, are often used because of how easily they can influence the reader. An email received from your “boss” would feel urgent or demanding. Due to this, they can easily be misinterpreted as legitimate. These emails often ask for gift cards, social insurance numbers, or e-transfer information.

If you’re a boss, inform employees of your unique email address(es) that they can look for in every email. If you have a boss, ask what email address you should be looking for.

3) I.T. Scam Emails

I.T. scam emails are very similar to CEO scams. However, they pose a more direct threat to your business’ data security. I.T. scams try to create emails that look familiar or trustworthy to gain attention from a business’ employees. These scams will request passwords, recommend softwares, or send malware as attachments. By pretending to be I.T. professionals, a business’ employees are more likely to trust these emails and provide this information.

Remember to never share passwords over email and do research before downloading unfamiliar software.