Posted 29 October 2021 in Blog, Security.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all more vulnerable to cyberattacks than ever. In today’s world, we depend more and more on technology. We have to learn how to manage new connections and new ways to interact with technology while staying safe.

In the US, a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds.1 How can you prevent that? How can you be safer online? RHEA Group’s security experts share their advice on measures you can implement straightaway.

Security advice you can implement immediately:

1.     Separate work and personal devices

“To stay safe online while working from home, it is better to carve out boundaries between your work life and home life, although that may not always be easy.

“While it may seem cumbersome to constantly switch between devices to simple pay a bill or do online shopping, do your best to keep your work computer and home computer separate. You never know if one has been compromised. If you can do the same for your mobile devices, even better.

“This can help reduce the amount of sensitive data that gets exposed if your personal device or work device is compromised.”

Bram Couwberghs, Director of RHEA Security Services

2.     Beware messages that convey a sense of urgency

“Cybercriminals often create a sense of urgency in their phishing messages as a social engineering tactic. It’s not uncommon for them to use statements like ‘Your account will be deleted today’ or ‘Your password will expire if you don’t click the link below’. And when cybercriminals research a company and impersonate its employees, they can develop very sophisticated messages, usually targeted at finance or HR to gain information or funds.

“When there is a sense of urgency, the victim becomes focused on a corrective action to address the problem and it’s easy to miss the tell-tale signs of a phishing message. So beware a sense of urgency in messages, even if they appear to originate from someone within your company.”

Mike Sherry, IT Manager

3.     Beware of new phishing trends since COVID-19

“Several cyberattacks related to COVID-19 have been recorded since April 2020, with many different vectors and modalities. For example, fake healthcare websites have been created, pretending to provide official healthcare information about the crisis. A legitimate website will not ask for your passwords.”

Matteo Merialdo, Deputy Business Unit Manager, Security Services

4.     Keep all your devices updated

“Updating your devices can be annoying and time-consuming, but as tempting as it can be to postpone the updates, it is a bad idea. You should always do it straightaway, and this applies to all your devices – your phone, your smart TV, your house surveillance system and any other connected devices.

“Always switch on automatic updates, when possible. Remember, keeping a device up to date will defeat most of the automated attack attempts on it and will help to keep your data safe.’

Samuel Ancion, IT Security Analyst

5.     Always consider yourself a target

“Most security breaches are generated by ‘unaware’ users. No matter how skilled you are in the ICT domain, always refer to your IT department if something unexpected or unusual occurs. You can never be too careful.”

Clivio Tappi, Director Cyber Security Business Development

6.     Cover your webcam

“Hackers can access your webcam without you knowing via the backdoor, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.”

Amrit Karna, IT Support Analyst

Next steps

Cyberattacks tactics are forever changing and adapting to our environment, so we can never be too careful. These tips from RHEA’s cyber experts are for immediate actions you can take to make sure your online sphere is more secure. But what will tomorrow look like?

We believe that the cyber world can be a safe space for you and your business, and we are committed to bringing you a comprehensive range of cybersecurity solutions. This includes a cyber risk awareness course, part of our range of cybersecurity training, customized with a real-life simulation environment.

Better security starts with trained and aware employees.

Do you want to be our next cybersecurity expert?

Check our current job offers and subscribe to our recruitment newsletter to be the first to know about our latest job offers.

You can also send us an open application any time and we will match you to suitable jobs when relevant vacancies arise.

1. https://eng.umd.edu/news/story/study-hackers-attack-every-39-seconds