Lockdown has been tough, we’ve all had to stop seeing friends and family and go into social isolation, we’ve limited our outdoor activities and our favourite food places have been shut. Workplaces have closed, some forever, and many of us have had to work from home wherever possible, meaning we’re missing the social element of work. As we are getting closer to the end of full isolation, we’d like to share with you some facts and statistics based around cybercrime in lockdown:

Increased remote working means more workers than ever are using video conferencing tools to replace office meetings yet despite this, a survey from Action Fraud found that only 23% of employees had received guidance on how to use platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams securely. The same survey, of 2,000 UK SME employees working from home in April, found that only 9% had checked whether their anti-virus software had been updated on their machines, 18% were working from unprotected devices, and only 26% had access to IT support from their employer.

Since the UK government launched the SERS (Suspicious Email Reporting Service) in April, it has received over a million suspect emails, the majority of which have originated from scam shopping sites. In addition, a report from Action Fraud has shown that over 16,000 people were victims of online shopping and auction fraud. The UK’s fraud and cybercrime reporting centre say that they have received reports of online shopping fraud totalling £16.6million in losses. The report shows that the victims of these crimes were predominantly aged between 18 – 26 and had purchased vehicles, phones and other electronic appliances that never arrived.

Scammers have been targeting us with contextual attacks, some offering ‘free’ Covid-19 home testing kits posing as the NHS, some claiming to have knowledge of some herbal treatments and some posing as newsletters from the government. Most of these scams are credential harvesters, they use a fake sign-in form to get you to sign up for their ‘service’ and as 2/3rds of brits use same passwords for most of their accounts, they will use that password to sign in to your other accounts and compromise your data. They will also often sell your credentials on the dark web to other hackers/scammers.

Cybercriminals have no boundaries, they can and will use any situation to their advantage. Whether that’s emails written as if they are from the government, using websites to sell fake goods during the unprecedented surge in online purchasing or simply re-using long-standing techniques to target unprotected devices, the criminals don’t care if you are a one-man-band or an SME. Cybercriminals are all after the same thing… a payday. Whether that’s via extortion, directly stealing your banking details, or selling your information to others, as long as they get what they are after, that’s all that matters.

It is critical that you are prepared for all types of attack and at Cyber Wise we have been working hard to ensure our clients are fully aware of the latest threats. Cyber Wise subscribers benefit from being kept fully up to date, are given regular training and are tested to ensure they know how to spot and react appropriately to the threats they face. If you have questions or would like to learn how Cyber Wise can help to protect you, get in touch today.