Cyber Risk & COVID-19 Update

cyber risk COVID-19
While everyone’s priority is to focus on personal hygiene and safety, there are bad actors taking advantage of the situation for personal gains. Here are a few things to be aware of as well as best practices on the cyber/privacy hygiene front.


Remote workforce

  • Reliance upon VPNs and other remote applications may not support the bandwidth and other productivity levels - system failure of the organization’s infrastructure or SaaS provider could result.
  • Testing should be conducted to ensure systems are able to accommodate increased remote workforce.
  • Home and personal workstations are often less secure and more susceptible to hackers.

Data collection & privacy

  • Companies may be careless in sharing information they have regarding affected employees and others - privacy breaches could violate HIPAA, state laws and company privacy laws.
  • Companies may react to the epidemic by requesting information from customers, vendors and employees that they are not entitled to ask for.


  • High-profile global issues and crises are perfect fodder for hackers; using the coronavirus theme for phishing emails or other predatory techniques is prevalent.

Business Interruption

  • Interrupted suppliers and targeted attacks knowing the control rooms aren’t staffed adequately can result in easier prey from an adversary standpoint.
  • A company’s ability to operate and maintain its systems because of a quarantine or shutdown could potentially trigger BI coverage; unintentional or unplanned system outage coverage could be invoked but will most likely be aggressively disputed.



  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and beware of email attachments.  Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.
  • Use trusted sources - such as legitimate, government websites - for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
  • Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information.

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