Cybercrime Trends for the Global Pandemic

All businesses are vulnerable to the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches, but many owners of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) underestimate the threat. In fact, SMBs are prime hacking targets precisely because they tend to downplay the risk and devote fewer resources to cybersecurity. The financial impact of cybercrime can be devastating. A recent industry study indicates that the average cost of a ransomware attack on a business is $5 million.

Today the world’s attention is focused on the global pandemic, and getting the latest information is important for all of us as we work to keep our job sites safe for our employees and customers. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have seized on this interest to create fraudulent communications with the goals of stealing personal information, infecting devices with malware, circulating false information, and even selling bogus products.

Identifying The Latest Scams

Some email messages may incorporate a logo of a trusted entity, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and offer a link that promises to provide breaking news about the pandemic, updates about treatments and vaccines, or other information that sounds legitimate. If a user clicks on the link, they may be asked to enter their email login credentials or other personal information that can be used to steal the user’s data or hack into financial accounts. Clicking on the link may also install malicious software (malware) on the user’s device.

Identifying these types of scams can be difficult, so it’s important to stay vigilant. Here are a few tips to employ when encountering emails from unknown accounts.

• Visit reputable websites such as the CDC directly from your browser, not from a link in an email.
• Before you click on a link in an email, examine the sender’s details in the “From” line, and delete it immediately if the domain name (after the “@”) looks suspicious.
• Do not click links or open attachments on any email from an untrusted source.
• Do not give your personal information to anyone via email.
• Install computer security software and keep it updated.

These are just a few of the risk management practices that can help protect your business from cybercrime. MiniCo has prepared the white paper Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks: Information for Self-Storage Businesses. The white paper discusses risks specific to self-storage operations, but the risk management recommendations and explanations of cybercrime trends are applicable to a wide range of commercial businesses. Click here to download the white paper. [] Learn more about MiniCo’s cyber insurance program at

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

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