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Coronavirus: Maintaining Privacy and Data Security with a Remote Workforce

April 8, 2020

By: Daniel J. Buller

Foulston has produced a series of issue alerts as we continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and provide additional guidance. Please find all updates and our latest resources available here.

In response to stay-at-home orders, many businesses have been forced to quickly transition from traditional offices to remote working environments. Working from home presents a new set of cybersecurity challenges to maintain privacy and confidentiality standards.

Threats to Data Security

Cyber criminals are using COVID-19 to exploit vulnerabilities, prompting the FBI to issue multiple press releases related to COVID-19 schemes since March 20. Businesses should take appropriate precautions to stay ahead of potential scams.

Understand and mitigate risks associated with third-party platforms. Paid versions of third-party platforms often come with increased security protocols. Implement automatic safety measures and provide staff training on enhanced security features.

Emails with information about COVID-19 are being used to unleash ransomware and social engineering attacks. A remote-access Trojan virus can give a cybercriminal administrative control over your device or network and result in demands for payment. Other schemes include donation requests to fictional charities, fake offers of immediate approval of SBA loans for a fee, fraudulent links to purchase hard-to-find personal protective gear, home COVID-19 testing equipment, and cure-all medications. 

Social engineering attacks often use fear and intimidation to create a sense of urgency in an effort to trick users into taking immediate action, like clicking on a link to download a file, uploading critical information, or changing a routine security procedure. Use care when responding to email and verify the request before clicking links in suspicious messages.

For More Information

If you have questions or want more information regarding data privacy and security amid COVID-19, contact your legal counsel. If you do not have regular counsel for such matters, Foulston Siefkin LLP would welcome the opportunity to work with you to meet your specific business needs. For more information, contact Daniel Buller at 913.253.2179 or dbuller@foulston.com. For more information on the firm, please visit our website at www.foulston.com.

Established in 1919, Foulston Siefkin is the largest law firm in Kansas. With offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka, Foulston provides a full range of legal services to clients in the areas of administrative & regulatory; antitrust & trade regulation; appellate law; banking & financial services; business & corporate; construction; creditors’ rights & bankruptcy; e-commerce; education & public entity; elder law; emerging small business; employee benefits & ERISA; employment & labor; energy; environmental; ERISA litigation; estate planning & probate; family business enterprise; franchise & distribution; government investigations & white collar defense; governmental liability; government relations & public policy; healthcare; immigration; insurance regulatory; intellectual property; litigation & disputes; long-term care; mediation/dispute resolution; mergers & acquisitions; Native American law; oil, gas & minerals; OSHA; privacy & data security; private equity & venture capital; product liability; professional malpractice; real estate; securities & corporate finance; supply chain management; tax exempt organizations; taxation; trade secret & noncompete litigation; water rights; and wind & solar energy.

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This update has been prepared by Foulston Siefkin LLP for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion; it does not provide legal advice for any purpose; and it neither creates nor constitutes evidence of an attorney-client relationship.