covid-19 scam cyber risk insurance

COVID-19 impact on your cyber risk

With the steep rise in remote working, introduction in new health measures and economic stimulus all related to COVID-19, we’ve seen increased cyber risk incidents.

Beware online scammers claiming to have cheap machinery for sale

One particular area of concern is scammers using bogus websites to target farmers on commonly used trading platforms promising cheap offers for machinery and stealing thousands of dollars from them. These scams are not new, but seem to have increased in prevalence with more people shopping online versus in person due to social distancing.

Don’t feed the COVID-19 phish

Scamwatch has prepared a current list of known scams across Australia. So far its received over a thousand coronavirus-related reports since the outbreak and some examples of what to look out for. Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams. Many may look like they come from an official or known source, such as GOV or ATO but remember no official source should include a log in link. The Australian Cyber Security Centre reported on a COVID-19 themed scam via text message that appear to come from ‘GOV’ as the sender and include a link to find out when to ‘get tested in your geographical area’ the virus. The link is not legitimate and may install malicious software on your device, designed to steal your banking details.

Scammers are also pretending to be official entitites offering to help with applications for government financial assistance.

When in doubt, do NOT click on the links provided in emails or text messages. Instead, type in the official website yourself to check information or contact the relevant organisation.

No matter how official they may sound, your bank, government, etc will not ring you to ask for personal details over the phone.

A high level of precaution will be required to minimise disruption to business from these scams, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to recognise.

Hoax messages targeting users of COVIDSafe app

The Australian Federal Police is investigating allegations of a hoax targeting the Government’s new coronavirus app.

Cybersecurity reminders

Scammers appear to be targeting organisations people are reliant on during this time, like health, banking and superannuation.

Spotting a scam before taking action is critical. Red flags can be things like strange email addresses or links asking you to log in. Don’t open attachments from people or entitites you do not know (and double check their sender email is correct, not just display name.Be wary of emails claiming to be from experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Risk management

To find helpful strategies to manage your cyber risk, check out this article from Emergence Insurance. Initiatives you can take include updating your systems with the most current security patches, reviewing your business continuity plans, implementing two-factor authentication to log into systems and platforms, most importantly, educate and remind your team about best practice cyber security practices.

Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance acts as a safety net should your business be impacted by a cyber-attack or data breach. Western General Insurance has access to policies that can include business interruption loss due to a network security failure or attack, human errors, or programming errors, as well as liability arising from failure to maintain confidentiality of data.

To find out more or get a quote, contact us.