Phishing and Cybercrime Issues During the Pandemic

Available for Interviews Phil Crowley

Philip P. Crowley, is a dedicated attorney who has been handling legal matters for pharmaceutical, biomedical, medical devices, information technology and other technology companies for over 30 years. He has also spent nearly 25 years on the board of trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology, with substantial involvement in the oversight of academic innovation and entrepreneurship.


Talking Points from Phil Crowley
on Phishing/Cyber Crime During the Pandemic:

How Cybercriminals Are
Taking Advantage of the Pandemic

Whenever there is a crisis or emergency, many groups spring up to help those affected.  The situation provides perfect cover for unscrupulous people to create an appealing “charity” with a worthy “purpose” to provide assistance.  It’s in circumstances like this that it’s wise to give only to

established charities with a track record of delivering services to those in need.  And even there, it’s important to assure that you’re donating through the charity’s actual website and not one that is confusingly similar—but bogus.  If you want to give to a charity, I recommend that you Google the name, make certain it looks legitimate and only then make your contribution.

Why Employees Might Be More likely to Fall for a Phishing Scam During This Pandemic

During an emergency, people are typically scrambling to get things done and are less concerned about corporate policies about security and confidentiality.  When our guard is down, it’s easy to be lured by someone representing him—or herself as a fellow employee looking for help to violate security procedures.  After all “it’s an emergency.”

Additionally, corporations where large numbers of employees are working from home, are more vulnerable to attack. This is because it’s more difficult for the IT staff to protect and control computer access and traffic from a workforce outside the perimeter of a company’s secure systems.

What IT Departments Can Do to Help Train/Retrain Employees on Cybercrime and Mitigate Security Risks

Online training on these risks can be very effective.  In addition, penetration attempts by security professionals using “phishing” techniques can identify employees who need retraining (or restriction of access).  It can also help employees raise suspicion about unusual requests for information and more likely to pick up a phone and call to confirm a request.  That can deflect a number of schemes.

How This New Virtual Workforce Might Change the Way IT Departments Do Things in the Future

The challenge for IT departments is to make the security systems largely invisible to the users, otherwise there is the incentive for some to use personal emails and non-validated systems.  While it’s not a perfect solution, two-factor authentication can go a long way to deterring many hacking attempts.  Further the deployment of virtual private network technology can provide enhanced security for communications even on public networks (e.g. your local Starbucks).


Interviews: Phil Crowley

Philip P. Crowley is an attorney for over 30 years who is passionate about helping grow technology companies seize opportunities and avoid expensive legal mistakes as they make ideas come to fruition. Mr. Crowley has also spent nearly 25 years on the board of trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology, with substantial involvement in the oversight of academic innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Managing Partner at the Law Office of Philip P. Crowley, LLC. Visit Phil Crowley on the web at


Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success in Media, Inc.

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