The COVID-19 crisis has caused a sharp rise in cybercrime, as more people work from home and access online resources remotely.
Today, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, has launched the cross-governmental ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign, offering guidance for businesses and individuals to protect passwords, accounts and devices during this time. The new network of Cyber Resilience Centres are helping get the guidance out to businesses throughout the UK.
As well as the broader campaign, the NCSC has published specific advice for the personal and professional use of video conferencing services and launched the world-leading ‘Suspicious Email Reporting Service’, which will make it easier for people to forward suspicious emails to the NCSC – including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus.
This will build on the organisation’s existing takedown services, which have already removed more than 2,000 online scams related to coronavirus in the last month.
The guidance given by NCSC is invaluable for small businesses, and our trusted network of CRCs will be vital in providing guidance and tips to your regional networks.
NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin said:
“Technology is helping us cope with the coronavirus crisis and will play a role helping us out of it - but that means cyber security is more important than ever.
With greater use of technology, there are different ways attackers can harm all of us. But everyone can help to stop them by following the guidance campaign we have launched today. But even with the best security in place, some attacks will still get through.
That’s why we have created a new national reporting service for suspicious emails – and if they link to malicious content, it will be taken down or blocked. By forwarding messages to us, you will be protecting the UK from email scams and cyber crime.”
Minister for Security James Brokenshire said:
“Criminals are seeking to exploit our greater use of emails, video conferencing and other technologies for their advantage.
It’s despicable that they are using the coronavirus outbreak as cover to try to scam and steal from people in their homes. We all have a part to play in seeing they don’t succeed.
I encourage everyone to follow the Cyber Aware advice and to use the Suspicious Email Reporting Service. They provide important new ways in which we can protect ourselves as well as our families and businesses.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:
"Technology is helping us work remotely, connect with family and friends and access medical advice online, so we can stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. But cyber criminals are also exploiting this crisis to target people and organisations.
I urge everyone to remain vigilant online, follow the National Cyber Security Centre's guidance on passwords and account security, and report suspected coronavirus related scams if you see them."
You can read the full press release — which details the NCSCs cybersecurity guidelines – on their website.
Sign up to your nearest CRC for updates and guidance here.