As millions of people begin working remotely, network security is also more at risk than ever. Cyber attackers are experts at leveraging the intense focus on the virus as well as the panic and distraction it creates. Security researchers are already discovering phishing emails referring to COVID-19. Research indicates that social engineering attacks, such as email phishing or fraudulent phone calls, play a role in 70% - 90% of all successful data breaches (source). Research outside the pandemic period indicates that employees receive 4-5 phishing emails a week. Thirty percent of fishing emails make it past default security measures, making disruptions including decreased productivity, loss of propriety data, and damage to reputation a likely threat (source). Cyber extortion is another risk faced by a variety of businesses, including e-commerce companies that generate sales through the web as well as any businesses that utilizes digital tools such as online customer management software. Businesses unable to access sales websites, customer databases, or CRM tools can suffer major financial losses due to lack of data access (source). While it’s easy to think of cyber extortion only as a thrilling TV drama plotline, the threat is real, and there are cyber liability policies available to provide financial support for cyber extortion attack remediation and ransom demands (source).

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