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Mimecast report: 100 days of coronavirus

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The volume of cyber crime attacks has increased by 33% from January to March 2020, according to a new Mimecast report.

Called '100 Days of Coronavirus', the report tracks cyber crime activity since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

It found that spam and opportunistic cyber crime detections increased by 26.3%, impersonation fraud detections by 30.3%, malware detections by 35.16%, and blocking of URL clicks by 55.8%, meaning people are more likely now to click on unsafe links than before the outbreak.

During the months of February and March, as SA reported its first case and moved rapidly into lockdown, Mimecast’s Threat Intelligence Team saw significant increases in cyber attacks in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Carl Wearn, Mimecast’s head of e-crime, says: “Spam increased by 46%, impersonation saw a 75% increase and there was a massive 385% increase in malware. Additionally, we picked up a 97% increase in unsafe clicks by users over the three-month period.”

More than 115 000 COVID-19 related spoof domains that are designed to steal personal information have been detected since January, he dds.

As vast numbers of employees suddenly find themselves working from home, they may pratice unsafe behaviour if they are not sufficiently equipped or aware of cyber threats.

“Considering the rise in threats and unsafe clicks as shown by the report, there is an urgent need for organisations to step up their cyber security awareness training efforts to ensure employees have the tools and knowledge to avoid risky online behaviour,” says Wearn.

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