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COVID-19: Increasing Risk of Phishing Attacks

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Wed, Apr 8th, 2020

Unsafe Clicks From COVID-19-Themed Email Phishing Attacks Increase.

The global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is impacting the world in many ways. It has fundamentally changed the way many organizations and businesses operate as a large number of employees more to remote working.

COVID-19 is being used by cybercriminals in malicious campaigns including phishing attacks, spam, malware, ransomware, and malicious domains.  In this environment email and web filtering solutions are essential in order to protect your devices that will be now be operating outside of the secured perimeter. 

Rising Threat of COVID-19 Phishing Attacks & Malware

IT & Security professionals in organizations are dealing with an enormous number of coronavirus themed email phishing attacks. Our email security solution SpamTitan is blocking increasing levels of  Coronavirus-related phishing emails and malware.

What started out as  dozens of Covid 19 phishing websites has morphed to hundreds and now tens of thousands more are being identified and blocked.  With hundreds of thousands of people now working from home or out of work as a result of the pandemic, criminals are seeking to exploit the situation by tailoring scams to the pandemic. Cybercriminals are trying to capitalize on the heightened anxieties of the public during the current crisis.

Keeping Remote Workers Safe from Phishing & Malware Attacks

TitanHQ are helping organizations and MSPs protect their transitions to remote work environments. The source of traffic has changed from “in office” origination to “at home” usage, but of course protection is still required and becomes essential for the shifting remote workforce and student studying from home using online resources.

We have seen massive demand this year for two products in particular that can be rolled out seamlessly to remote devices and work from home environments. These are SpamTitan cloud-based email security, which protects students and staff from the newest iterations of phishing attacks, and our AI-driven DNS security product, WebTitan. Combined, these create an umbrella layer over all students and staff protecting their devices.

SpamTitan Email Security

Advanced email security with powerful, real time updating AI driven threat intelligence. COVID-19 phishing scams are the most sophisticated versions of phishing emails the industry has seen. SpamTitan provides powerful protection blocking inbound threats and securing outbound data. It blocks spam, phishing, malware infected links and other email threats.

Are your staff and customers aware and are they protected?

WebTitan DNS Security

We are seeing a daily increase in the number of new malware and phishing sites especially those  referring to COVID-19. These malware laden sites are destination sites for  targeted email phishing scams. These domains are actively being added to WebTitan as they are identified.

Malicious attacks online relating to COVID-19 has seen increased traffic demand for WebTitans scanning and threat isolation features. Our system was built with scalability in mind and our real-time AI driven threat intelligence is finding these new malicious threats as soon as they surface.  The fact that all our technology is in the cloud and easy to deploy at scale and remotely has fueled demand in this period.

Cloud-based DNS web filtering is fast becoming the implementation of choice for many organizations.  With the insertion of simple client code on your enterprise devices, users can be forced to interact with a designated DNS no matter what the location of the device.  Furthermore, protection is blocked before any HTML code is even accessed for malicious websites, preventing the web session from starting.

Layered Security - Keeping Remote Workers & Data Secure

TitanHQ solutions are constantly updated, ensuring continued protection from existing and new attack vectors. A multi-layered protection is also recommended for protecting all fronts and preventing users from accessing malicious domains that could deliver malware.

Layered security stops a successful breach from a vulnerability in one defense and offers an onion design approach where each layer compounds with another to form a fully functioning, complete sphere of security. It protects the internal network and its data by surrounding it with several layers that an attacker must defeat, making security much more complex for a successful breach. 

Although they work independently, they work collaboratively to protect enterprise devices.  In the process of implementing these tools into a comprehensive strategy, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  Because vulnerabilities are constantly being exposed and new malware compositions being created, enterprises must incorporate multiple defense strategies to stop-gap avenues of attacks.

With COVID-19 infections increasing and showing no sign of slowing, we expect these COVID-19 phishing campaigns to continue. Organizations should raise awareness of the threat of COVID-19 phishing attacks with their employees and ensure appropriate technical solutions are implemented to block web and email-based attacks. TitanHQ can help with the latter and can provide advanced email and web security solutions to block these attacks. If you have not yet implemented a web filter or email security solution to protect your Office 365 accounts, now is a good time to start.

TitanHQ is committed providing safe and secure email and internet usage for our customers, partners and their users, now more than ever. Please get in touch, let us know how best we can support your efforts during this challenging time.

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