• Daniel McDermott

    Dan is a 20 year veteran of the ICT industry working for global and local vendors in bringing new and innovative technologies to market in the ANZ region. During his career, Dan has been passionate about bringing a local voice and insights to global technology challenges. As the Editor of GetCyberResilient.com Dan casts a keen eye across the hot topics, trends and pulse of local security practitioners to curate stories from near and far that are most impactful in addressing our evolving risks.

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Daniel McDermott

CrowdStrike report: Explosion of COVID scams and the vulnerability of Australian businesses

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In the wake of the pandemic panic and the mass shift to remote working, scammers now have a much bigger pool of victims to swindle and are furiously targeting anxious users with fake websites, scam emails and fake news.

A new report by CrowdStrike illustrates just how big the problem is becoming. The survey results for Australia were particularly striking.

The CrowdStrike Work Security Index surveyed 500 Australian decision-makers across small, medium and large business enterprises and here’s what they discovered:

  • 87% of respondents said they were working at home more often (59%) or about the same (28%) as before, with many Australians turning to personal devices for work.
     
  • In February to March alone, CrowdStrike found a 100x increase in COVID-19 themed malicious files. A 100 times! And those were just in the early days of the pandemic.
     
  • At the same time, only 47% of the Australian business decision-makers surveyed believe their business is more likely to experience a serious cybercrime incident during the pandemic.
     
  • Yet only half (50%) of Australian businesses have provided additional training for their staff to learn how to avoid threats while working from home.  
     
  • Despite security implications, over 9 in 10 respondents believed their devices were secure, while 38% believed their devices were VERY secure.
     
  • Cybersecurity teams take note: almost two thirds (62%) of senior business decision-makers surveyed admitted to using personal devices to work from home during the current situation. A prime target for enterprising scammers.


These are just some of their findings, and we highly recommend checking out the full report.

“Cybercriminals are using people’s uncertainties and shifted workplace environments to benefit financially, attacking victims by using stolen data, impersonating the World Health Organization or using lures that align with health guidance, containment and infection-rate news.” - Michael Sentonas, Chief Technology Officer, CrowdStrike

We’ve talked at length about the rise of COVID scams and the challenges of securing a remote workforce. It may seem like fighting an uphill battle, but you’re not alone. Every company has to figure out its own security posture. The worst thing any organisation can do is ignore the problem and hope it’ll go away on its own. We all live in the digital economy now, and cyber risks come with the territory. It’s on us to educate ourselves and the people we work with. Luckily, a good awareness training program can make the task a whole lot easier. 

Editor, Get Cyber Resilient

Dan is a 20 year veteran of the ICT industry working for global and local vendors in bringing new and innovative technologies to market in the ANZ region. During his career, Dan has been passionate about bringing a local voice and insights to global technology challenges. As the Editor of GetCyberResilient.com Dan casts a keen eye across the hot topics, trends and pulse of local security practitioners to curate stories from near and far that are most impactful in addressing our evolving risks.

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Daniel McDermott