Teaming up with INTERPOL to combat COVID-19 threats

If the past couple of months have taught us anything, it’s that partnerships matter in times of crisis. We’re better, stronger and more resilient when we work together. Specifically, public-private partnerships matter in cybersecurity, which is why Trend Micro is always happy to reach out across industry, academia and law enforcement to offer its expertise.

We are again delighted to be working with long-time partner INTERPOL over the coming weeks on a new awareness campaign to help businesses and remote workers stay safe from a deluge of COVID-19 threats.

The new normal

All over the world, organizations have been forced to rapidly adjust to the new normal: social distancing, government lockdowns and mass remote working. While most have responded superbly to the challenge, there’s no denying that IT security teams and remote access infrastructure are being stretched to the limit. There are understandable concerns that home workers may be more distracted, and therefore likely to click on phishing links, and that their PCs and devices may not be as well protected as corporate equivalents.

At the same time, the bad guys have also reacted quickly to take advantage of the pandemic. Phishing campaigns using COVID as a lure have surged, spoofing health authorities, government departments and corporate senders. BEC attacks try to leverage the fact that home workers may not have colleagues around to check wire transfer requests. And remote infrastructure like RDP endpoints and VPNs are being targeted by ransomware attackers — even healthcare organizations that are simultaneously trying to treat critical patients infected with the virus.

Getting the basics right

That’s why Trend Micro has been pushing out regular updates — not only on the latest scams and threats we’re picking up around the globe, but also with advice on how to secure the newly distributed workforce. Things like improved password security, 2FA for work accounts, automatic software updates, regular back-ups, remote user training, and restricted use of VPNs can all help. We’re also offering six months free use of our flagship Trend Micro Maximum Security product to home workers.

Yet there’s always more to do. Getting the message across as far and wide as possible is where organizations like INTERPOL come in. That’s why we’re delighted to be teaming up with the global policing organization to run a new public awareness campaign throughout May. It builds on highly successful previous recent campaigns we’ve collaborated on, to tackle BEC and crypto-jacking.

This time, we’ll be resharing some key resources on social media to alert users to the range of threats out there, and what businesses and home workers can do to stay safe. And we’ll help to develop infographics and other new messages on how to combat ransomware, online scams, phishing and other threats.

We’re all doing what we can during these difficult days. But if some good can come from a truly terrible event like this, then it’s that we show our strength in the face of adversity. And by following best practices, we can make life much tougher for the cybercriminals looking to profit from tragedy.

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