Not that we don’t have enough to worry about. But let’s take a moment to address cyber hacking.

As workers get comfortable into work from home routines, hackers have more opportunities than ever to disrupt our lives. In this article from Reuters, Wendy Nather, a senior advisor with Cisco’s Duo, said that the sudden transition would mean more scope for mistakes, more strain on information technology staff, and more opportunity for cyber criminals hoping to trick employees into forking over their passwords.

“Criminals are dressing up password-stealing messages and malicious software as coronavirus-themed alerts, warnings, or apps. Some researchers have found hackers masquerading as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a bid to break into emails or swindle users out of bitcoin, while others have spotted hackers using a malicious virus-themed app to hijack Android phones,” according to the article.

Companies therefore would be wise to advise all employees on how to protect themselves from hacking. Below are some tips from Compliance Week.

  1. Verify the authenticity of communication by healthcare authorities. Phishing attacks can come from a myriad of communication platforms—emails, text messages, phone calls. Upon receiving communication from a person or organization purporting to be from a government health authority, verify its authenticity beforeclicking or responding.
  2. Watch for red flags. Look for spelling errors and bad grammar and beware of anything asking you to download content or provide sensitive information to receive information/tips on how to protect yourself from coronavirus.
  3. Educate employees and keep them informed about cyber-threats.Organizations must implement effective security awareness training, such as teaching employees how to recognize and report phishing attempts.
  4. Be aware of security vulnerabilities posed by third parties. Third parties pose significant risk to all industries, but amid coronavirus hysteria healthcare organizations are especially vulnerable to cyber-attacksfor the protected health information and other sensitive data they handle.
  5. Adhere to industry regulations when working remotely. “Some industry sectors are subject to regulatory cyber-security requirements for remote access,” states a client alert from law firm Crowell & Moring. “Government contractors, for example, may be subject to specific technical controls established by NIST SP 800-171, including for access control, awareness and training, configuration management, incident response, media protection, physical protection, and system and communications protection. This is a good time for government contractors to review their system security plans for compliance with these controls for teleworking.”