During the pandemic, cybercriminals have seized the opportunity to take advantage of these vulnerable and emotional situations. In fact, during the first half of 2020 the United States saw an approximate 35% increase in total attack volume compared to the second half of 2019. Tom Burt, corporate vice president of customer security and trust at Microsoft, stated that “Attackers are opportunistic and will switch lure themes daily to align with news cycles, as seen in their use of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cybercriminals previously focused on malware attacks, which infected your computer with a virus disguised as an interesting webpage or ad. Unfortunately, they have only gotten smarter by making their attacks more personalized. Over the past few years, cybercriminals have shifted their focus to phishing attacks to steal people’s username and passwords. The latest phishing attacks are being initiated by emails imitating top brands utilized during the pandemic, such as Microsoft, UPS, Amazon, Apple and Zoom.
This past August there was a malicious cyber actor spoofing COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails that looked remarkably like the Small Business Administration web page. This unfortunately tricked enough people that the Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating the source of these attacks. It is extremely easy to fall victim to phishing emails. It could happen to anyone. It takes less than a second to cause irreversible damage to your personal identity and computer as well as your employer’s.
CYBERSECURITY PRACTICES AT FRAGASSO
Cybersecurity is always an important topic and concern here at Fragasso. Did you know that our Fragasso client portal checks your passwords against known breached password lists and will notify you instantly that you need to change your password? If you are notified that your Fragasso password needs to be changed, please make sure you change the compromised password in our portal and any other affected accounts immediately.
Currently, I am excited to share that we are in the early stages of a full cyber audit. We will be working with a cybersecurity expert to continue conducting yearly audits that work to ensure that your data at Fragasso is safe from any potential cyber threats. While no system is foolproof, data security is a top concern and priority at Fragasso Financial Advisors