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Friday, 08 May 2020 18:50

COVID-19 Introduces New Cyber Risks to Collision and Automotive Repair Shops

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David Willet, underwriting value creation executive at ProSight Specialty Insurance, talked about the rise in cybercrime risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. David Willet, underwriting value creation executive at ProSight Specialty Insurance, talked about the rise in cybercrime risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In addition to the risk COVID-19 poses to people’s individual health, shop owners and personnel should also be aware that the global pandemic poses increased risks for cybercrime.

“The increase in cyber risk during COVID-19 is very real. Many cyber criminals were starting to focus on attacking phones and PDAs, which tend to have less cyber protection thus make for easier targets. The exponential growth in use of social apps has provided new rich targets for their devious actions,” said David Willett, underwriting value creation executive at ProSight Specialty Insurance.

 

By the middle of April, cyber-risk specialists had identified more than 70,000 malicious COVID-19 domains, and these cyber forensics experts urged business owners to take steps to mitigate the risk to their organizations.

 

The largest risk is to the shops that have a higher number of employees working on their personal devices.

 

“The amount of risk to each business depends on how many people they are relying on and how the risk is distributed,” Willett explained. “Shop owners are exposed to cyber-risk when working on-site, but if they’re operating remotely, according to the new norm, they do not have the same amount of protection that they’d have while working on-site.

 

“The risk may be lower for shops whose teams are still working on-site with the same devices; cybercriminals are targeting most widely distributed workforces,” he continued. “When a business invests in cybersecurity, such as VPN, firewalls and other protections, that’s great when you’re in the office, but with more people than ever working remotely on their own devices, criminals have discovered that many of these employees don’t have the same level of protection on their home networks. As a result, they are going after these people who do not even realize they’re vulnerable.”

 

Zoom meetings’ vulnerabilities have come to light, such as increased exposure to beaconing, a type of malware which infects the computer and sends data through an app into the phone being used, stealing information at irregular intervals. When Willett downloaded Zoom, he found his phone sent 13 beacons to various countries in 20 minutes.

 

“The game has changed,” Willett warned. “Cybercriminals were attacking through ransomware and demanding bitcoin to release the system, but now, they are also accessing the system to obtain business information and other data.


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