The novel coronavirus crisis continues to take a toll on lives, livelihoods, economies, public health systems, and businesses. Organizations, professionals, and educational institutions that transitioned to a remote environment within hours of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, remain in a virtual mode with their operations for the most part. By now, most businesses have ironed out the initial hiccups related to inadequate infrastructure, poor connectivity, or lack of a dedicated workspace at home and started accepting the emerging realities as the ‘new normal’. While both, individuals and business are adapting remarkably well to these emerging realities, it is important to remember that all privacy, security, and safety laws are still crucial during the pandemic. Alongside, there is also a spike in identity theft during the pandemic, as unscrupulous elements exploit the current vulnerabilities.
At Crown Information Management, we believe it is more important than ever to protect your confidential and sensitive records from fraudsters and cybercriminals. Our information management experts share the areas where you need to be vigilant in order to remain compliant with the applicable regulations.
Tips to Combat Emerging Security Challenges Amid the Coronavirus Crisis
Protecting your digital and physical records from phishing attacks, fraud, identity theft, ransomware, and breaches is imperative for safeguarding the privacy of your employees, clients, and business. However, in the new remote working scenarios, there are a few other challenges.
- Fears surrounding COVID-19 are high and conspiracy theories abound, making your employees more gullible and vulnerable to threats.
- Cybersecurity measures are not nearly as tight as required, especially in businesses that deployed remote working solutions through ad-hoc, short-term or untested methods. This has left data and information more exposed to threats.
This stress and distraction are exactly what miscreants are counting on for intercepting critical information. This includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), or other sensitive business data, such as financial reports, staff and customer records, and intellectual Property (IP).
Here are some of the newer areas to watch out for:
- IoT Attacks: Cybercriminals are using the most unexpected methods to infiltrate networks and access critical information. From video doorbells and virtual assistants, to multifunction printers or smart cameras, any internet connected device could become their next access point. Sensitize your employees about researching a product’s security code and changing the default password each time they add a new device to their home networks.
- Smishing: Instead of traditional email systems, the bulk of official communications have moved to other platforms, such as Slack, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Signal, and Zoom. Hackers are modifying their methods of attacks, penetrating these channels and targeting text-based communications to access critical information. If your business uses the newer platforms, incorporate the same rigid security standards that you apply to the more traditional technology.
- Synthetic Identities: Fraudsters can now combine real and fabricated credentials to create the illusion of realistic people posing as authentic information seekers. Similarly, through evolving social engineering tactics, they scour social media for personal data, or by skillfully convincing businesses to part with confidential information. With an abundance of such advanced methods of identity theft, you may have to refocus your efforts on data protection, and enforce stringent identity validation procedures, wherever applicable.
Hackers will devise more and more sophisticated methods for accessing valuable confidential information and data threats will continue to multiply. In order to protect your business from non-compliance related legal issues, fines, or reputational challenges, you need to tighten up data protection and information security protocols.
If you are looking for end-to-end record management solutions or secure shredding services for your physical or digital records, partner with a SOC1, NAID AAA and PCI Certified company, such as Crown Information Management. Whether it is sorting, indexing, safe storage, easy retrieval, or permanent preservation or destruction, we address every stage of the record lifecycle. Our qualified information management professionals and skilled data destruction technicians can help protect your business from potential risks during the pandemic and beyond.
To learn more about our records management, storage, and shredding services, call 800-979-9545 or contact us online.