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The Definitive Guide to Free Cybersecurity Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has transformed the world in a matter of weeks. Many people now work from home for the first time, relying on the latest tools to connect with their employers, colleagues, and clients.
Sadly, cybercriminals are still exploiting weaknesses and targeting vulnerable people with scams. Fake government websites and messages have been reported, tricking users searching for official information in a time of profound unease.
As more people are cut off from their usual working environments, they may be unsure how to stay safe online. Fortunately, Canadian businesses can take advantage of free cybersecurity resources and defend themselves during the COVID-19 crisis.
In this guide, we explore the most valuable websites and tools available right now.
Cybersecurity Informational Resources for Businesses
Employees who are new to working from home can struggle to adapt to monitoring their own cybersecurity and taking effective precautions. The first step is to read the right information.
Canadian businesses looking to protect their infrastructure and employees during the COVID-19 upheaval can share the following resources with their teams to help them safeguard their own hardware and software at home:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
This may have been your first port of call, but if not, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is packed with helpful insights.
For example, there’s an in-depth list of reported scams to be aware of, including people posing as charities, cleaning companies, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Red Cross, and government departments. Check the list regularly to stay up to date on the latest scams.
It also provides tips on how to protect yourself and your business against online dangers. It’s never been more important to stay vigilant.
Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is another crucial resource for businesses. It features a fantastic guide — ‘Staying cyber-healthy during COVID-19 isolation’ — which links to several eye-opening articles on phishing, spotting malicious emails, and updating software & devices to mitigate risks.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
NIST operates an outstanding Small Business Cybersecurity Corner, covering everything from Cybersecurity Resources Roadmaps to Cybersecurity Framework Steps for Small Manufacturers.
There’s a Telework Cybersecurity section with lots of resources for teams working from home, exploring such critical topics as Telework Security Basics and Mobile Device Security.
Cybersecurity News Updates
Businesses across Canada should try to stay well-informed on cybersecurity dangers and scams. The following sites are posting regular updates:
Free Cybersecurity Tools
Antivirus brand Sophos is offering free cybersecurity software for professional and personal use.
For as long as the COVID-19 crisis lasts, Sophos customers have free access to Sophos Home Commercial Edition program, which delivers business-grade defense for all users.
On top of this, Sophos’ XG Firewall is available with a 90-day free trial. This provides automatic threat isolation and insights into hidden threats.
Click Armor is a Canadian security platform, and its “Can I Be Phished?” tool is a handy resource for all businesses and remote workers. It’s a user-friendly three-minute assessment designed to identify your ability to recognize phishing emails.
This invites users to choose emails they believe are suspicious, such as falsified HR policy updates, news alerts, and more. It may help employers and employees alike develop a stronger eye for spotting dangerous emails lurking in inboxes.
Qualys is providing Remote Endpoint Protection for remote workers. This is in response to the increased number of people now doing their jobs from home and is free for 60 days.
This gives users real-time visibility on all major weaknesses and issues (such as misconfigurations) that could put devices at risk.
DomainTools has built a free list of websites considered high-risk during the COVID-19 crisis, helping businesses to protect their systems, workers, and data against cybercriminals.
This tool provides access to the list after a brief registration process. The keyword-based, streamlined search function makes finding problem sites fast.
Users also can see when high-threat domains were created and the level of risk they pose (represented as a score for at-a-glance insights). The list includes tens of thousands of sites so far.
Canadian cybersecurity company 1Password has adjusted the pricing on its 1Password Business package, so that companies can now get their first six months’ usership for free (instead of just 30 days). The company discussed its reasons for making the change in this blog post.
This tool enables businesses to centralize their login details in one space, with no need to memorize them or write them in notebooks which could go missing. Remote workers can access their business logins securely, increasing safety and reducing the amount of time they could waste by forgetting or misplacing their passwords.
Networking company Cisco is allowing its Cisco Umbrella customers to exceed their user limit for free, to accommodate the increase in employees working from home. Newcomers also have access to a free license, not just existing users.
Cisco’s offer applies to Duo Security, too, which is a two-factor authentication tool. It can be integrated into mobile or web apps, and prompts users to confirm their identity when trying to login.
Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client is also included in the offer, which runs until July 1, 2020.
These are trying times for businesses of all sizes, but the strain may be particularly tough for smaller companies with tighter budgets. Taking advantage of these free cybersecurity resources and tools can help you stay safe online, even when cybercriminals are at their most ruthless.
At The Driz Group, we continue to provide our customers with cutting-edge managed services to prevent cyberattacks and protect applications. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your business’s cybersecurity options now.
Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP