How the Coronavirus is Increasing Security Risks in Companies?

How the Coronavirus is Increasing Security Risks in Companies?

COVID-19, the coronavirus disease that originated in China in December 2019, is slowly taking a grip over the entire world, with more than 3,000 deaths already reported worldwide. Apart from the major toll it has taken on the health of several people, this outbreak has also affected business operations all over the world.

If you conduct your business operations across countries and continents, chances are that your organization has been affected by this outbreak. Even if yours is primarily a company that works online by generating, sharing, and processing digital information, you must be careful. The reason is that malicious actors out there will not stop at anything. Something as serious as the coronavirus is also being used to target fearful customers. These schemes are circulating widely in the US and a number of western European countries including the UK, thus majorly affecting information security.

Here are some of the ways in which the coronavirus is increasing security risks in companies:

Impersonating CDC officials

Malicious actors do not miss any chance to leverage a scared population, which is why so many phishing schemes are seen to be trapping people all over the world every year. One way in which cybercriminals are doing this in the midst of the current coronavirus outbreak is by sending out emails pretending to be from the CDC. The emails will claim to be able to tell you which areas in your city are prone to the infection being spread from one person to another. To access the names of these areas, you are required to click a link in the email, which then starts to take you to what looks like the official CDC webpage, but ends up being a malicious link. Here, you are asked to log in using your credentials, which are then stolen and misused.

Circulating fake documents claiming to be advisories

Some people are even impersonating medical practitioners from China and pretending to be circulating health advisories for people to protect themselves from the coronavirus. They attach a file, such as a PDF, that the readers are asked to download in order to read the health advisory to fight the coronavirus. When the attachment is downloaded, chances are that it will infect your computer with malware.

Network security risks due to remote working

Another coronavirus-related risk to information security that may soon present itself in the business world is that a lot of employees in the regions where the outbreak is live will

prefer to work from home or remotely. This is already happening as we speak. Employees

working remotely from a local area network that is not secured well enough can lead to

disastrous consequences to their companies’ data.


An epidemic as widespread as the coronavirus outbreak has effects that are a lot more far-reaching than the world can initially anticipate. Information security risks come under one of these far-reaching effects. Malicious actors leave no stones unturned when an opportune situation such as this outbreak presents itself to them. Therefore, we must be vigilant not only for our own health but also for the health of our organizations’ security postures.