As originally published in the New York Public Personnel Law, April 24, 2020

Cybersecurity and COVID-19

Concerns about the impact of COVID-19 individuals and the economy has resulted in a variety of efforts by some individuals to use email, text messages, telephone calls and postings on the Internet to persuade organizations and individuals to reveal financial and other confidential information to their detriment.

Below are some of the types of messages that are currently being used in targeting government agencies, not-for-profits, businesses and individuals in an effort to obtain an organization’s confidential data or information or an employee’s or an individual’s personal information.

A pop-up or message seeking to confirm or update the organization’s or an employee’s banking or other financial information.

An email or text seeking contributions to “Fight the Coronavirus.”

A message offering investment opportunities in organizations “Fighting Coronavirus.”

A message seeking information to assist the organization or individual to apply for or receive an economic stimulus check or similar funds.

Calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the FDIC or another federal agency or a state or municipal government organization offering COVID-19 related grants or payments upon receipt of certain financial information.

Robocalls offering funds to organizations and businesses affected by the pandemic and selling “referral programs.”

Fraudulent checks from entities posing as a vendor.

The above information was provided by Mr. Heinan Landa, CEO and Founder of Optimal Networks, an IT services firm. Mr. Landa offers to discuss online security and what your organization can do to protect itself against COVID-19 generated scams. You may contact Mr. Landa by telephone [240-499-7905] or email [[email protected]].
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