Cyber vigilance amidst COVID-19

by <a href="mailto:rmsa@awcnet.org">RMSA</a> | Mar 25, 2020
RMSA empathizes with all our members struggling to respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on local governments.

RMSA empathizes with all our members struggling to respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on local governments. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to create opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit, with so many people working from home.

Here are some specific warnings for avoiding phishing attacks that may attempt to take advantage of you during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Be very cautious of emails that:

  • sound like they are talking about special government assistance programs related to Coronavirus;
  • mention some legitimate news story, or a bill passing congress, or a school closing, to try to entice you to click on a link; and
  • link to some website where you need to register to receive a state government, federal government, or insurance benefit.

Be skeptical of calls

Especially when working from home, you and your employees may be more susceptible to an illegitimate robocall claiming that you need to do something to keep access to your VPN, O365 Email, wireless internet access, etc. or that they’ve detected suspicious activity on your account that requires investigation. Be sure you and your employees handle all such calls with a healthy dose of skepticism and, when in doubt, call your provider or the company the caller is claiming to work for directly to confirm if the outreach actually came from them.

If you receive a suspicious email or phone call DO warn other staff and elected officials about it. DO NOT forward a suspicious email to others, unless it is to your local IT staff to scan for phishing or viruses.

If you have questions or would like cyber assistance, consider checking out RMSA’s online cyber resources, email rmsa@awcnet.org, or consider calling RMSA’s new cyber expert hotline.

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