IBM Security Guardium

Unusual Times are Times of Opportunity – for the Scams

By Rick Robinson posted Tue March 24, 2020 02:44 PM


These are definitely unusual times and whenever there is change there is opportunity.  Since we are asked to socially distance ourselves from each other to flatten the curve of COVID-19’s infection rate, we are spending more time using our computers and phones, managing a work-from-home lifestyle that includes making room for our kids, spouse, and working around our dogs or cats.

But as indicated, this new lifestyle presents an opportunity – not just for you to spend time with your family, but also for the bad guys. Hackers, perpetrators and thieves view this new change in user activity patterns as an opportunity to introduce more scams to separate you from your identity, credit, data or hard-earned dollars and it is clear from warnings coming from law enforcement that we should keep lookout for new scams and attacks.

Just like washing your hands, now is the time to follow basic security hygiene: make a backup of your data and also employment controls to further protect you against unauthorized access. Encryption is one of the fasted and easiest things you can to do add a layer of protection that makes any stolen data unreadable and should be something you should consider implementing immediately.

For example, it’s not uncommon for people from diverse teams across organizations to have access to shared files: someone from HR or manufacturing may be able to locate and open files related to the company’s finances. If you were to use encryption to encrypt a folder with sensitive information such as financial ledgers, accounts payable or accounts receivable, you could define policies such that only processes or people that come from finance or accounting groups could access those files (which then would be decrypted transparently). Under this scenario, you would have protected yourself from attacks from infected computers originating in the HR or manufacturing departments that may also have had access to the sensitive files in question (but are not supposed to open them). Encryption can add an extra layer to your enterprise’s data security.

Lastly, remember that you are not alone in this brave new world.  IBM has scores of skilled individuals that can help you assess your security posture and implement additional controls very quickly to address any weak attack surfaces. 

It is a brave new world out there and we can and will get through this together.  Please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help.