We are clearly living in uncertain times right now. The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is changing rapidly on a day-to-day basis, so we wanted to take this opportunity to address what it means for Clearswift and HelpSystems as a global organization and an employer, and how it might impact on our customers, prospects and partners.
Human safety and the health of our employees is, of course, our overriding concern. Coronavirus is highly contagious, and we want to do everything in our power to help restrict the spread. With this is mind, all Clearswift and HelpSystems employees around the world are working from home and will continue to do so until guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other national health authorities changes. We also continue to follow government restrictions concerning travel and have cancelled all events and trips as appropriate.
We want to assure you that all our customer-facing staff and technical support teams are as available now as they were previously. They are fully contactable via all the regular channels which means that the level of service and support we provide to our customers will not drop at all throughout this period of uncertainty.
HelpSystems has been in business since 1984 and a core value is the long-term viability of the organization. Strong leadership and fiscal responsibility have served the company well during other difficult times and will continue to do so now. Customers have always counted on us and we’ll continue to deliver. We are very well positioned to not only support you during this time, but to get through it well.
As a cybersecurity provider with a proud track record of keeping organizations safe and secure, it would be remiss of us not to mention a worrying trend that has emerged over the last month or so – coronavirus-based malicious attacks.
So-called social engineering lures are becoming more common, as cyber criminals target employees with emails about current news or events, in the hope that they click on the URL. Once the employee is compromised, cyber criminals can gain access to sensitive information or release malware/viruses onto the network.
It’s a tactic that is growing in use because they are so relatively easy to do. Cyber criminals can lock onto anything in the news at that time, and right now that means the coronavirus. These phishing campaigns are well crafted and look authentic to the untrained eye and are designed to trick you to open it.
People need to be hyper-vigilant about not clicking on any emails that look even slightly suspicious. Ask yourself “do I know these people? Have I ever had contact with them?” If the answer is no, or you are in any doubt, do not click on a link or open an image.
Further coronavirus vulnerabilities
Coronavirus can also cause damage to organizations in other ways. With many countries around the world now in a lockdown situation, millions of employees are working from home. Homeworking even when not in the grip of such a crisis presents its own security issues. For example, the risk that other family members using an employee’s laptop – children printing out their homework, checking personal email, or generally surfing the web – might accidentally click on something they shouldn’t.
Organizations need to make sure that employees use a VPN (or equivalent), so that homeworking employees have the same level of cybersecurity protection afforded to them when they are in the office.
Cyber criminals are also using coronavirus to target the healthcare sector. Employees in the sector would understandably be a little more vulnerable right now to campaigns that utilize coronavirus in some way. Such tactics could even enable cyber criminals to penetrate the wider hospital supply chain and use that as a means for further attacks.
It is looking likely that the coronavirus will factor in our lives for a good while yet. We want to keep our employees safe and healthy, but also do everything we can to ensure our customers are protected against the different cyber threats that coronavirus brings with it.