Zurich Warns of Heightened Cyber Risk During Pandemic

Zurich Insurance has warned that a surge in remote work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will result in heightened cyber security risks.

Source: Reinsurance News - Matt Sheehan | Published on March 20, 2020

Digital security concept

With businesses around the world increasingly urging employees to work from home to help slow the spread of the virus, analysts believe that the security standards of some organisations could be compromised.

Nikki Ingram, a Senior Cybersecurity Risk Engineering Consultant for Zurich North America, explained that for financial, healthcare and other businesses – as well as federal and state agencies that deal with sensitive data – there is little room for cracks in cyber security systems.

“As an employee, ensure you are complying with your company’s security standards as a remote worker,” Ingram said.

“Everyone wants to get their job done, but if, for example, you’re having internet trouble at home and your service provider tells you to lower your security settings, talk to your employer’s technical support before doing that.”

Zurich recommended that employers should offer guidance to employees to help ward off threats, such as reminding them to be wary of suspicious emails, downloads, USB drives or other things that could introduce malicious software onto a computer and into the network.

These could include spoofing and phishing attacks from hackers pretending to be IT personnel asking for your credentials.

Additional measures could include the installation of patches and update to anti-virus software on home networks, as well as ensuring firmware is up to date on the management software of Wi-Fi routers.

Zurich further suggested that employees should be told to connect to corporate networks using a secure means, and to store data on available encrypted network drives to avoid loss in the event of a computer virus or other malfunction.