COVID-19’s impact on cybersecurity

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Jose Cardenas looks at the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on cybersecurity. Hackers and scammers have found ways and groups to target during the pandemic through phishing emails and texts, fraudulent unemployment claims, stealing data, and more. Adam Bulava, the Executive Director of JPMorgan Chase Cybersecurity and Technology Controls, talked about currents threats and schemes people should know about for adults, families, and children. Bulava discussed what can be done to prevent this and how to educate kids to be safe online. He also talked about some resources to help protect yourself.

Bulava talks about what impact COVID-19 has had on schemes and hacking. He explains that hackers are using things going on in the news to trick people. Hackers have been impersonating government entities and charitable organizations. He said they are using those impersonations to get you to click on an email or text message.

He said they are also trying to leverage some public programs that help support individuals during this pandemic. Some examples he gives are stimulus checks, small business loans, and unemployment benefits. The hackers are submitting unemployment claims to the state on behalf of people who are not even unemployed.

Bulava said many groups are doing this out there, and you don’t necessarily have to be “highly sophisticated”. People are working from home, and they’re not taking the same precautions as they would in their office. The hackers are looking for vulnerabilities like poorly secured Wi-Fi or weak passwords. The unemployment scheme is a popular scheme that has affected the state. They are stealing identities from individuals, applying for unemployment benefits, and redirecting payments to their bank accounts. Bulava said the states are working to “crackdown” on it more by teaming with law-enforcement and other areas.

Some advice that Bulava gave is to stop, think and pause. He said it is important to pause and look at an email to gauge if it is suspicious. Another example is phone calls from your bank asking for personal information or asking you to take an action. He said it’s important to politely end the phone call and call the company back on a known phone number.

We also discussed children and how we can protect them. He said it is good to have a talk with your children early about having secure passwords and think about data privacy. Lastly, he refers us to some resources that can help us learn more about being cyber safe. You can also email [email protected], Chases Cyber Safety for Good Program.

Adam Bulava, the Executive Director of JPMorgan Chase Cybersecurity and Technology Controls

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