In the last 6 months, amid the pandemic, the cases of cyber-attacks have risen considerably, across the globe. Manufacturing and retail industries have, to date, seen the most attacks; but almost every business in the world has been affected in some way.

Cloud security experts Mimecast recently examined the first 100 days of the crisis, focusing on the patterns of scams between January and March in the build-up of the pandemic. The report noted a 26% increase in opportunistic attacks, with impersonations up 30%. In total, detections had increased by a third.

Vulnerable industries and key tactics

Opportunistic attacks do not target anyone in particular. Instead, attackers exploit a vulnerability or weakness to launch an attack. Ransomware attacks are the most common examples of opportunistic attacks.

Increasing the sophistication of the attack and using a variety of different methods seem to be the tactics of choice for scammers to infiltrate and cause harm. Hence, it is important to prepare yourself and your business for the inevitable, as it can be difficult to tell when and how you are being targeted.

Industries such as manufacturing, retail and wholesale have been targeted heavily due to the near-normal continuation of operations during the height of the lockdown. The retail and manufacturing sectors account for nearly 20% of all the attacks in the first half of this year and are the most vulnerable industries right now. They’ve largely been victim to the ransomware attacks, similar to the attack on Honda in June. This ransomware is designed to block access to computers and software until a sum of money is paid.

Cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the rising number of remote workers, using phishing emails targeted at work accounts to gain access to information. These types of attacks usually involve an employee clicking a link and providing personal, confidential data to what they believe is a legitimate source.

How to secure yourself and your business

As far as phishing attacks go, they have never been more prominent than now. In order to drive down the number of successful attacks, companies must be willing to take steps to secure their businesses. We had recently published a blog on tips to staying secure during COVID. You can read it here.

There are email security solutions that are focused on securing businesses using Microsoft 365 and other email software, which protect against phishing attacks and other attack methods, including, malware, ransomware, and spam.

Some of the measures you should incorporate to ensure email security:

  • Targeted attack protection: Suspicious/spam emails must be prevented before they even enter an employee’s inbox. Warnings must be shown according to the level of threat. These can be done by an email security solution.
  • Awareness training: Sometimes the most sophisticated attacks may make it through the gateway. Employees must be trained to help them identify threats and avoid human error breaches.
  • Brand exploit protection: Scammers can impersonate your brand using your logos, messaging, and product photos to target your customers and employees. Organizations must find and neutralise brand imitations like these on the web.

Where to start

It is easier than you think to protect your business, regardless of your industry or business make-up. There are multiple tools and services you can employ to make your business secure.

We can introduce you to some of these solutions and help you understand more about cybersecurity.

Email us at or call us at 0203 918 5250 for free trials and see how security solutions can work for you.