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Cybersecurity tips when working remotely

Hassan Asghar
03.23.20
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As more businesses and employees make the temporary switch to working remotely, hackers and scammers are ramping up their activity. To help you protect yourself while online at home, here are two actionable steps you can take today to help stay secure:

Step one: Update your login info

Regularly changing your password is usually what people talk about when discussing cybersecurity efforts, but your username is just as important. Using the same username across multiple accounts or employing your email address as a login credential can be equally as big of a threat as a weak password – especially in cases where the attacker has knowledge of a known username and can take guesses at your account password.

In addition to changing your password every six months, we recommend updating your username too. Most businesses and banks have customer support experts who can guide you through this process.

Step two: Beware of scammers

Unfortunately, situations like a pandemic often result in an increase in scamming and phishing activity online. A cybersecurity company recommends people be cautious of look-alike domains that are actually phony websites. In fact, in a recent phishing campaign, cybercriminals sent emails that look like they came from a trusted source such as the World Health Organization (WHO), asking people to click on a malicious link to view safety measures.

Recent common fraud attempts have included emails that:

  • Appear to be from reputable organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Asks for charity donations for studies, doctors or victims affected by the virus
  • Claims to have an updated list of COVID-19 cases in your community

 

Be cautious with any emails from unfamiliar contacts or organizations. Be sure to verify the sender by checking their email address and comparing it with previous communication from the organization. Never click on links or attachments in an email you weren’t expecting. Most legitimate sources will not ask you to provide personal or financial information via email. If you see such email solicitations, do report these suspicious messages claiming to be an official organization (such as the CDC or WHO) to the actual organization through their website. When in doubt, navigate to the website directly and do not reveal personal or financial information unless you can verify the sender.

For more information about how Bremer Bank is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit bremer.com/covid19.

Hassan Asghar

About Hassan Asghar

Hassan Asghar joined Bremer in 2017 as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  Hassan is responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of Bremer’s information security policies and strategies. He also oversees the successful delivery of our information security program and ensures ongoing adherence through strong, collaborative relationships with individuals and teams across the organization.    Prior to his role at Bremer, Hassan worked at Optum, where he was responsible for IT risk management, the control governance program and implementing IT security controls across the organization. Other past positions include manager of IT Audit at MoneyGram International, where he established and managed the company’s IT audit function, and Deloitte & Touche, where he led information security consulting and audit engagements. In addition to his work experience, Hassan has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and a Certified Common Security Framework Practitioner (CCSFP). He also completed the Executive Development Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California. )

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