As the world grapples with the far-reaching implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are capitalizing on the chaos to unleash an unprecedented number of attacks against businesses and individuals. Bad actors have unleashed an onslaught of phishing scams, 30% of which are directly related to COVID-19.
These malicious messages are joined by 854,411 phishing or counterfeit websites, four million suspicious websites, and an unprecedented surge in corporate cyberespionage, especially in healthcare. In addition, cybercriminals are hawking unproven cures, fraudulent charities, and other troubling trends. For instance, researchers found 1,092 websites pushing hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19.
Experts note that cybercriminals are relying on peoples’ desire for insight in an unstable information landscape, concerns about economic instability, and generalized anxiety as prominent factors that make these scams so effective. In response, every organization needs to prepare its employees for this new reality, making employee awareness training an essential defensive strategy in today’s rapidly changing digital ecosystem.
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