How the news endangers your company’s security

News & cybersecurity

The news media catches a lot of heat for a lot of different reasons. Much of that is justified, some of it not so much. But regardless of where you fall on that particular ideological spectrum, if you own a business, the news can be a huge threat to your cybersecurity and IT reliability.

Wait… what?

I know, I know. The news can be annoying or enraging, sure. Mentally distressing at times? No doubt. But a danger to my IT environment and cybersecurity?

It turns out, in a high-stress, high-engagement news environment like 2020 (Covid, Presidential Election…), hackers, scammers and threat vectors of all sorts will utilize fear, misinformation, disinformation, or just a lack of authoritative information to both fill that gap and extract high-value data from you in the process.

The news as threat vector

Trend Micro’s 2020 Annual Cybersecurity Report made specific mention of how hackers are using Covid-19 to propagate malware and take advantage of anxious news consumers in a chaotic information environment:

In the first half of the year, Covid-19-based threats focused on either causing alarm to recipients or allegedly  providing  information  about  the  pandemic.  For  instance,  many  of  the  early  spam  emails  discussed symptoms of the viral disease.

The  scammers  behind  these  threats  tailored  their  techniques  to  whatever  new  and  current  information was available. For example, with the benefits of the original Covid-19 stimulus package provided by the US  government  nearing  its  expiry  date, malicious  actors  took  advantage  of  the  time-bound  situation  by sending text messages to potential victims stating that they had received a certain amount as part of the package. Included in the text was a link to a phishing page designed to steal personal and financial information.

Another major development was the initial rollout of Covid-19 vaccines from different drug companies in the second half of the year. As expected, cybercriminals promptly followed suit with their own doses of vaccine-related scams. Some offered fake vaccines for varying amounts, even setting up domains (some of which included malware) to fool their victims. Other scammers resorted to phishing emails, sent not just to the general populace but also to people involved in the vaccine supply chain.

As information and our media ecosystem becomes ever more crowded, confusing and noisy — and, in times of significant stress — it becomes both easier and more damaging for hackers to prey on our inherent humanity. It’s hard when your life and surroundings are imminently stressful in their own right to also consider and prioritize business IT and cyber security on a continuous basis.

That’s why partnering with someone like Leverage is such a boon to your company’s success and your mental well-being. When you’re busy handling your life and running your actual business, it can be literally life-changing to have a trusted, expert partner like Leverage making sure threats like these don’t slip through your corporate cracks. The more uptime you have, the fewer threats that make it through your security apparatus, the less you have to worry and the more money your company makes.

Gaining Leverage makes business sense — let us show you how.