A recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has presented findings that highlight an incredible increase in cybercrime since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall the threat posed through cybercrime has evolved and grown in such a short space of time, and there are increasing concerns that businesses and households simply have not got the resources available to continuously protect themselves from the ever-advancing risks presented online.

The majority of public authorities, businesses and individuals have increased their use of online communication. Remote-working, schooling and regular internet users are typically less aware of threats from online. This has led to an upscale in the targeting of school-age children from online sex offenders who aim to groom them, through infiltration via online classes and on social platforms. This has most recently been seen happening across the Zoom online meeting platform.

Many may also be familiar with stories of recent scams from cybercriminals offering fake coronavirus cures for sale, and defrauding the general public online through the sale of non-existent medical, hygiene and PPE equipment. Other risks posed to the public have been through the offer of unregulated services, such as investment and medical advice and diagnosis, plus free subscription sites that unwilingly invite potential malware downloads. Both personal and business mobile devices have fallen foul to this kind of hoax in recent weeks.

Worldwide, employees and businesses have shifted to home-working, inadvertently exposing corporate IT networks and systems to malicious criminal activity from phishing scammers and advanced hackers.

From a business perspective, many cyber criminals prey on companies through the use of email phishing as an initial infiltration. When an employee clicks on a link or document, their account is compromised in a way that may not be explicitly evident to the employee, yet allows the criminal to access not only the account, but the organisation and it’s associated IT, including company data, website and intellectual property. The mobile device has never been more at risk from these type of threats than it is today, with employees accessing nearly 70% of their emails via business mobile or tablet when remote working.

The UNODC has reported that it is growing increasingly difficult for governments and law-enforcement to investigate the massing amount of cybercriminal and APT group activity, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore it is imperative that now, more than ever, businesses and their employees are reducing their online risks and ensuring they are safe and secure when working remotely.

Serbus helps enterprises and public sector organisations to protect their business infrastructure, IP, and data through our secure mobile solutions.

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