Online Advice for Businesses in Response to the Covid-19 Outbreak

cybersecurity
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Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the National Cyber Security Centre has reported a number of online attacks on businesses of all sizes.

We advise that businesses adopt the following tips to stay safer online.

 

Password Guidance

Ensure the password you are using is unique for each account you create. This is especially important with the current increase in remote working as lots of new accounts are being created. Length is the key to a strong password, and the NCSC suggests using 3 random words to use in a sentence, e.g. "hammer carrot concrete".

A password manager helps manage passwords and store them securely. This avoids staff having to remember hundreds of unique passwords. Take the time to pick a suitable password manager for your business.

For more information on passwords and management systems, please visit the NCSC website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk.

 

Update Devices

Waiting for a device to update can be frustrating, but software updates are essential to increase the security of your system - whether that is a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. A device that is not updated regularly can be vulnerable to easy to execute cyber attacks.  

If you cannot update the device when prompted, schedule this in and stick to the schedule.

 

Staff Communications

Create an emergency group chat for staff that is only to be used for online concerns. This will help staff efficiently communicate any issues, and put into place effective solutions quickly. 

When choosing a platform, use something easy to access and widely trusted. You may already have some of these systems in place for work such as: Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Slack and WhatsApp.

 

Be Vigilant of Emails and Messages

Cyber criminals use times of crisis to their advantage, often sending malicious emails and messages with the aim of installing malware on your work system. Staff should take the time to check email addresses and be cautious of links and attachments from unknown senders.

There has also been an increase in reports of online attackers using text messages. These can easily be spoofed and so extra care should be taken when clicking links.

 

Don't Compromise GDPR

Staff should continue to follow the company's GDPR policy regardless of where they are working. Have a remote working policy also so that staff understand the importance of storing client and business data appropriately.

Staff should have access to a protected online storage account at all times.

 

Share this advice!

COVID-19 is having a huge impact on businesses in the UK and around the world. Please share this advice with your networks.


For further advice and support, please visit the Cyber Resilience Centre's website or contact them via info@cyberresiliencecentre.com.

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