BUSINESS: Coronavirus Triggers Cyber Crime Spike – Are You Safe?


In a world where our entire lives are online, from banking to social interactions, and with so many Britons working from home, are you doing enough to stay safe online? The National Cyber Security Centre has some advice to help you protect yourself, your family and your business from cyber criminals. 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, was launched in 2016 to battle the ongoing threat of cyber crimes across the UK. On 21 April 2020, they launched a new Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), to help shut down some of the criminal activity being conducted by email. 

The NCSC had reported a sharp increase in malicious emails preying on fears about the coronavirus, offering services to help prevent the spread of the infection in the time since the pandemic reached UK shores.Within 24 hours of taking the SERS live, 5,000 emails had been flagged as potential evidence of cyber crime, and 83 malicious web campaigns had been identified and removed, according to the NCSC’s website

For families and individuals, the NCSC offers 6 actionable steps to help users stay safe online, but there is also guidance and information for other types of internet users, including cyber professionals. 

Matt Horan from C3IA Solutions

Poole-based cyber security company C3IA has has echoed the government’s warnings about online safety, with Security Director Matt Horan stating “Remote working has seen 13% more productivity and a 9.5% increase in hours worked. It has reduced absenteeism, improved the work-life balance and benefited mums who don’t have to take as much time off for childcare…However, more remote working because of the coronavirus has led to a massive increase in cyber threats.

It is essential that the home workers connect to their company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) whenever accessing business information. This is the secure link between the computer or device and the company’s servers, which store the information. Staff might not know how to link to the VPN from home, but if they are not connected then the risks of a cyber-attack are much greater.” 

If you have received an email you think might be suspicious, you can report it to the SERS directly for investigation. 


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