Internet Crime Threats To Remote Employees & Business Security

As most businesses continue to be secured in the grip of the COVID-19 crisis, efficient business security is crucial to protect premises, people and assets. We have seen a significant increase in incidents, alerts and requests to protect unmanned premises 24/7 from ‘ actual threats to business security . Physical security threats are one thing, but many businesses and their employees are being blind-sided by online internet attacks during the lockdown too.

During the COVID-19 emergency there is a surge in cyber attacks on businesses, remote workers plus individuals. A recent report by the BBC, entitled ‘Coronavirus: How hackers are preying on fears of Covid-19’ declares that security experts say the particular spike in email scams connected to coronavirus is the worst they have observed in years.

What does this mean for UK businesses?  

Based on a just-published document from the Centre just for Economics and Business Research (CEBRE), cyber attacks are costing UNITED KINGDOM firms an ‘eye watering’ £34 billion.

Hackers are jumping at the chance to take advantage of the current situation and are launching attacks against unsuspecting victims. Since January, greater than 4, 000 coronavirus-themed web domains have popped up. It’s suggested that around 5 per cent of the are suspicious and 3 per cent malicious.

The websites would likely be used as part of email campaigns to appeal victims to click on dangerous hyperlinks. Cybersecurity firms are reporting a notable increase in attacks against a variety of targets, all using the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a hook to trick their victims into running spyware and adware or harvesting personal details.

cyber business security

The above email from HMRC GOV. UK looks real at first glance doesn’t it? It’s not though, this is just one in the stream of over 200 COVID-19 related phishing emails and frauds that have been reported by Action Fraud (National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre) costing £970k in deficits.

Phishing explained

The particular National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) gives this description: “Phishing is when criminals try to convince you to click on links in just a scam email or text message, or to give sensitive information away (such as bank details). Once clicked on, you may be sent to a dodgy site which could download viruses onto your pc or steal your passwords.

Given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, cyber criminals are delivering emails that claim to have a ‘cure’ for the virus, offer a financial incentive, or encourage you to donate. Such as many phishing scams, these emails are preying on real-world worries to try and trick you into clicking.

These scam communications (or ‘phishes’) can be very hard to place and are designed to get you to react without having thinking.

How to spot fake emails

Action Fraud, the National Fraud & Internet Crime Reporting Centre suggest that fake emails often (but not always) display some of the subsequent characteristics:

• The sender’s email address doesn’t tally using the trusted organisation’s website address.

• The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address.

• The email does not use your proper name but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”.

• A sense of urgency; for example , the particular threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed.

• A prominent website link – these can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but a single character’s difference means a different website.

• The request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details.

• The email contains spelling and grammatical errors.

• You weren’t expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it.

• The entire text of the email is contained within an image as opposed to the usual text format.

• The image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site.

How to proceed if you’ve already clicked

cyber security

If you’ve already clicked a link (or moved into your details into a website), take the following steps:

• If you’re using a work laptop or phone, contact your IT section and let them know.

• If you’ve been tricked into offering your banking details, contact your own bank and let them know.

• If you think your account has already been hacked (you may have received messages delivered from your account that you don’t recognise, or you may have been locked out of your account), refer to NCSC’s guidance on recovering a hacked account.

• Open your antivirus (AV) software program if you have it and run a complete scan. Allow your antivirus software program to clean up any problems this finds.

• If you’ve provided your password, change the passwords on all your accounts that use the same one.

• When you have lost money, tell your bank plus report it as a crime in order to Action Fraud (details below) the particular UK’s reporting centre for cyber crime. By doing this, you’ll be helping the NCSC to reduce criminal action, and in the process prevent others becoming victims of cyber crime.

Things you should do to help protect your business through hackers and cyber criminals

Farsight offers collated some suggested resources to help you protect your business security against hackers and cyber criminals.

1 . Record fraud and cyber crime in order to Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centr e.   If you are a business, charity or additional organisation which is currently suffering the live cyber attack (in progress), please call 0300 123 2040 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report scams or cyber-crime on this online form:
Or you can report a phishing attempt here:

2 . Get advice from Take Five to help stop fraud


stop cyber fraud

Take Five is a national awareness campaign led by UK Finance, supported by Her Majesty’s Government plus delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK payments industry, finance firms, law enforcement agencies, telecommunication suppliers commercial, public and third industry, urges you stop and think about whether the situation is genuine – to stop and think if exactly what you’re being told really makes sense.

Get business advice on dealing with online fraud.
Take the quiz to discover if you are scam savvy

3. Test out your response to a cyber attack using this NCSC safety initiative

Get Exercise in a box – an online tool which assists organisations find how resilient they may be to cyber attacks and practice their response in a safe atmosphere

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4. Consider training your remote working staff

Research relevant training courses, there a many especially look for those being run by your industry bodies or associations. This is one particular from our industry:

The Security Institute has partnered with Amica , an industry-leader for cyber, governance, risk plus compliance training.
Through this particular partnership all Security Institute Members can enjoy free entry to the ‘Cyber Security for Home Users’ course by simply booking on to the course above. Given the present situation, Amica have also taken your decision to make the ‘Cyber Security for Home Users’ course available to all for the reduced rate of £9. 99. Non-members can purchase the course at this reduced rate by clicking HERE .

This program is available until 01/01/2021. Members can register immediately and will be sent details after membership verification is complete, which can take up to 4 business days.

6. Be aware of live attacks in progress

See the spread of live cyber attacks taking place around the world with this real time SonicWall dashboard . You will be astounded! At the time of writing this article there we 35. 6 million intrusion assaults and 7. 37 million Viruses attacks with 9. 36 million targeting the UK.

Sonic Wall

Further reading…

We hope this article helps you to secure your company security from cyber criminals.   For further information, we have published tips on some of the things you can consider carrying out to further strengthen the security of your company and remote workers.

cyber security tips

Let’s not forget about the risks from physical crime on company security

Naturally , it is not only cyber attacks that will business have to consider, we have seen surges in physical security breeches too, with criminals taking full advantage of these trying times we all find ourselves in the middle of.

Farsight recently published the staggering crime statistics released by the Office of National Stats (ONS) showing that 5. 7 million crime situations were reported to the police with estimates of total crimes leading 10. 2 million.

> Browse the 2019/2020 Crime Statistics which we all reveal here

It is clear that businesses cannot afford to be satisfied when it comes to protecting their premises, property and people.   Farsight is a leading remote security monitoring centre that protects thousands of businesses across the UK from physical security threats. We provide 24/7 365 supervising services across CCTV , Fire & Intruder alarms , Access Control and Lone Worker Protection .

If you want to discuss how our remote safety monitoring solutions can help to strengthen your business security, please drop us a line: Contact us here

Stay in the know

All of us regularly publish security guides and tips to help ensure business security may optimised, like these:

> Who is viewing your business security, where are the dangers and from who?

> 20 simple methods to improve business security

You can get these handy updates straight to your own inbox by subscribing to Farsight here: