Spikes In Cybercrime Due To Covid-19

Cybercrime has been increasing significantly in correlation with Covid-19. As in all major economic shifts, there are those that take advantage, those that hang on for the ride, and those trying to survive. When the pandemic started, the vast majority of us were just trying to hang on for the ride or survive, but hackers are using this time to take advantage of the shift from onsite to remote work.

What is a Cybercrime?

To start, cybercrime is a crime that has been committed on the computer, and over the internet or some other network. The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when thinking about cybercrimes is usually identity theft or fraud.

These are both big issues for personal and business accounts alike. But, it does not stop there. Below are a few of the more prevalent cybercrimes that you may come across.


Any sort of software developed for malicious purposes would fall under this category. Malware is one of the more common cybercrimes and can be developed to cause damage to a specific computer, server, person, or network, depending on what the hacker’s intentions are.

It is important to note that a piece of software can be developed with the best of intentions, but end up damaging one or all of the aforementioned possibilities.

Even though it is software that is damaging a computer/server/network/person, it is considered a software bug that needs to be fixed, not malware.


Ransomware is a type of malware that attempts to gain access and copy all of your data, prevent you from being able to access that data, and hold your data for ransom.

It is best practice to NEVER pay the demands of the ransomware because there is no way of knowing if you will be able to get your data back.

In addition, paying a ransom is positive reinforcement for the cybercriminals, and will motivate them to continue carrying out cybercrime.

How You Can Help Prevent Malware:

  • Update software when it comes available
  • Keep your computer up to date
  • Have some form of up-to-date anti-virus installed
  • Do not click links or download anything that is not from a reputable company, brand, webpage, etc.

Phishing Scams

Phishing is a cybercrime that sends out emails that are made to look like some of your favorite brands in the hope that the recipient either enters their login credentials. Another common tactic is to ask that you ‘confirm’ your payment information for whichever site they are pretending to be.

If the recipient does in fact enter their credentials or payment information, the cyber-attacker will steal the payment information and sell it on the dark web, or use it themselves.

The 4 Best Ways To Prevent Phishing Scams Are:

  • Anti-Virus Software. This will be a recurring theme throughout this blog. Anti-Virus Software is the bare minimum you should be doing to help protect yourself.
  • Some scammers are more sophisticated than others and will create email addresses that look extremely similar to a legitimate business’s address. If you receive an email that looks fishy, inspect the email address that it was sent from to make sure it is not fake.
  • Do Not Provide login credentials or payment information via email or links within the email. You know the URL’s to your frequented websites – if you receive an email requesting verification for the above information, do not do it. Call a support line that is confirmed on the companies main website to verify the suspicious email as either a scam or a legitimate request.
  • Keep your website browser(s) up-to-date. These providers are working hard to earn your business on their internet platform and work diligently to update and patch security threats as much as possible

Healthcare Industry Hit Hard

The healthcare industry has been hit particularly hard by the spike in cybercrime due to Covid-19. Hackers have found that pharma companies and research institutions are prime targets for ransomware. This malware threatens financials with ransom demands and puts the critical intellectual property at risk of being stolen unless the ransom is paid.

Ransomware demands can range from $10,000 to $25 million. Once the criminals access a computer system, they may leave behind the means to do it again.

Evidence indicates that Russia, China, and other adversaries have been attempting to hack into U.S. databases to steal potentially lifesaving intellectual property- perhaps the results of clinical COVID-19 trials.

The healthcare industry is overwhelmed with priorities, but their cybersecurity cannot be ignored. Hackers are always plotting their next move, to put the vital functions of our healthcare industry in jeopardy. The healthcare industry must implement and enhance security programs to prevent attacks from these cybercriminals.

Is your company prepared for a cyberattack? Let us evaluate your security and provide FREE Consultation to ensure you are not the next victim.