Cybersecurity in the time of COVID-19

By Steven Estep

In a recent blog, I advised community banks to remain vigilant amid the increased risk of COVID-19 related cyber threats. In the days following that blog, the attacks on community banks and their customers continue to rise, reinforcing the need to refocus on cybersecurity while we adjust to this “new normal.”

During the pandemic, three types of attacks and scams have risen sharply, and bankers should anticipate seeing more of these threats throughout the pandemic’s duration. They are:

  • phishing attempts using COVID-19 related issues as lures,
  • advance fee scams requiring up-front payment for products that do not exist, and
  • attacks on technologies required for remote work.

To help community banks navigate through the COVID-19 threat landscape, ICBA has created a resource page, which explains and helps bankers mitigate the cybersecurity scams and frauds associated with COVID-19. The resource page includes key resources from the government and private sectors, and will be updated regularly, so check back often for the latest information.

As community banks continue to be stewards of their customer data and put cybersecurity at the forefront of what they do, I encourage you to read these latest ICBA resources.

Thank you for all you do to help your customers and communities during this challenging time.

Steven Estep is ICBA Director of Operational Risk.