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Why Cyber Hygiene is Critical During the COVID-19 Era

During these difficult times, we are taking the time to wash our hands thoroughly, wear masks, and practice social distancing in order to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. 

Not only is it important for us to maintain our physical hygiene in order to protect us from COVID-19, but also it is important to maintain good cyber hygiene so we can protect ourselves from cyber attackers.  

You might be asking, “Why is cyber hygiene so particularly important during the COVID-19 era?”  

In this blog, I’ll explain why cyber hygiene is important, how you and companies can enhance cyber hygiene, and how COVID-19 has affected cyber security.  

Why is cyber hygiene important during the COVID-19 era? 

Cyber hygiene has a heightened importance in the COVID-19 era as cyber-attacks are drastically increasing.  

The most common attacks are through emails sent with nothing but lies and harmful malware. For example, attackers have impersonates the World Health Organization (WHO), trying to get recipients to download infected files.  

WHO released a statement about how cyber-attacks have increased as credentials of retired employees were leaked and now attackers are impersonating these employees.  

With many businesses now switching to an online form of work through a remote workforce, it is extremely important to take action and make sure you maintain good cyber hygiene.  

A few tips to keep in mind

Here’s how companies can enhance employees' cyber hygiene: 

  • Administer Cyber Security Awareness Training to employees. 
  • Create a system based on practicing good hygiene that employees must follow.
  • A good policy should consist of installing anti-viruses and keeping them updated, backing up data, installing security features, to name a few. More information about maintaining good cyber hygiene can be found in our other blog post Cyber Hygiene 101. 
  • Update your system software whenever possible. Cyber-attacks are an ever-evolving field with new ways to scam people that are being created daily. It is always important to stay on top of the latest scams hackers are creating. 

If you feel as if you don’t know where to begin for practicing good cyber hygiene, 24By7Security recommends a hiring a part-time CISO to guide and help you and your company take the steps needed to protect against cyber-attacks. 

How COVID-19 has affected cybersecurity

Cyber-attacks are increasing due to COVID-19. Hackers are using new ways to trick people.   

For example, HawkEye is a new malware being used to infiltrate systems. Attackers are also spoofing domains such as Google and Microsoft in order to trick people.

As I previously mentioned, 24By7Security highly recommends cyber security awareness training. It is important to be aware of these new methods in order to stay protected and secure.  

While all of this may be alarming, there are many actions you can take in order to have good cyber hygiene and protect yourself.

Creating a plan for action and sticking to that plan will keep you safe which includes installing anti-viruses and keeping them updated, backing up data, installing security features etc.  

Cyber hygiene is very important to maintain during this time, so as we are maintaining our physical health, we must also maintain our cyber health.  

Gabrielle Grau
Gabrielle Grau

Gabrielle Grau is a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her major is yet to be decided but she does have an interest in marketing and hospitality. She was an intern for the Marketing department at 24By7Security for the summer of 2020.

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