While COVID-19 occupies most of the world’s attention, cyber-criminals continue to hone their trade. Consequently, with attention diverted and business-as-usual changing daily, the recent rise in cyber-related attacks comes as no surprise. Analysts have found that companies with an increased number of employees working remotely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have witnessed a spike in malicious cyber-attacks. For example, the United States Health and Human Services Department experienced two separate cyber-attacks since the onset of COVID-19, with the attacks aimed at sowing panic and overloading the HHS servers.[1] These attacks, however, are not limited to the United States, as they have been reported across the globe. For instance, hackers launched a cyber-attack on a hospital in the Czech Republic, stalling dozens of coronavirus test results, only days after the government declared a national emergency.[2]

Pandemic and other distractions aside, businesses must remain vigilant and, as business models evolve to keep pace with workplace closures and stay-at-home orders, enhance their offsite security and support to protect from malicious access to their computer systems. Business owners should also make sure their cyber insurance coverage is up to date and appropriate for their specific new business models and risk profiles. Experienced coverage counsel can help to ensure that cyber-related losses will be covered by insurance and, equally important, ensure that an appropriate breach response protocol is approved and in place for immediate mobilization when an event occurs.

[1] https://abcnews.go.com/Health/facing-coronavirus-pandemic-us-confronts-cyber-attacks/story?id=69653329

[2] https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/cyberattack-czech-hospital-forces-tech-shutdown-during-coronavirus-outbreak