Businesses and professionals in Austin, Texas should pay special attention to the latest Covid-19 cyber scams and data breach risks.  What should Central Texas business owners be on the look out for and what can you do to protect your small business from a data breach or cyber incident?  Michael Anderson with Anderson Rogers Insurance, an Austin, Texas independent insurance agency that specializes in Cyber, Data Breach, Privacy and Media liability insurance advises his clients “Make sure your agent or broker has your cyber/data/privacy insurance with a carrier that not only reviews your site for security risks at the time of working on proposals for your coverage, but continues to work with you throughout the policy period to monitor potential threats and/or security flaws.  We have several partner programs that provide real-time continuous monitoring of our policyholder’s sites to help my clients take proactive action to mitigate the damage, or better yet, stop the breach before it ever occurs.  Ultimately the goal of any comprehensive Cyber Security Risk Management Plan should be to proactively help our clients before the cyber issue or data breach happens as opposed to most likely playing from behind in response to a major breach”.

Specialist insurance provider CFC has warned that its in-house cyber claims team is seeing new COVID-19 cyber scams targeting businesses.

“Since countries around the world went into lockdown, the types of incidents that our cyber claims team are dealing with shows that while there hasn’t yet been a change in frequency of attacks, the likelihood of companies falling victim to these scams in a vulnerable and remote working scenario are escalated in comparison to what we were experiencing pre-COVID-19,” said Lindsey Nelson, cyber development leader for CFC. “This new era of home working couldn’t be a better situation for cyber criminals. Employees are working on potentially insecure devices and businesses may not have implemented any additional training to help them spot things like phishing links that play on, for example, human curiosity about coronavirus.”

CFC’s in-house cyber incident response team has seen the following cyber scams over the last several weeks:

    • Setting up fake websites offering safety information about COVID-19 or purporting to sell medical masks and supplies. The sites trick people into clicking on links that give cyber criminals access to personal information or result in victims transferring money to fraudulent third-party bank accounts.
       
    • Posing as government agencies in emails and social-media posts to trick people into clicking on a link that enables cyber criminals to encrypt their computers with ransomware. These fake agencies are also issuing “fines” for not following government social-distancing measures, prompting victims to reveal bank account details and pay fraudulent fines.
       
    • Creating phony COVID-19 maps encouraging people to click to get more information about the spread of the outbreak in their areas. While the maps look legitimate, they contain malware designed to steal credentials

“With initial efforts being focused on the employees of the company working remotely, but not necessarily securely, it’s very possible that hackers have already penetrated mailboxes through business-email compromise scams and are simply lingering, waiting for the right opportunity to strike,” Nelson said. “This means we won’t see the true implications of these attacks until a few weeks or even months down the line.”  This article appeared on Insurance Business Magazine  by Ryan Smith on May 07, 2020

Michael Anderson may be reached by phone at 512.795.4336 or email to discuss your Texas business’s cyber, data breach, privacy and/or media liability risk management and solutions.