Coronavirus related cyber-attacks are on the rise

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 7:35 PM CDT
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The North Dakota State Information Technology Department estimates the number of coronavirus related cyber-attacks have increased by about a million in just one month.

ITD leaders say they've seen increases in attacks over the past two years, but COVID-19 has opened up new avenues for cyber-attacks and has accelerated the issue.

An influx of electronic portal usage for medical records has some concerned their information could be found by hackers.

But ITD dispelled those doubts, saying they've seen no successful attacks in that area, but have seen them elsewhere.

“What we've seen bad actors do is they'll attack your personal computer and then pivot through your home network to try to get to the work machine,” says ND Information Technology Department CIO Shawn Riley.

Riley says institutions and employees need to be cautious: as more people start working from home, those personal networks are often less secure.

ITD leaders ask people to be proactive with installing protective software to their personal computers and to be suspicious of unexpected emails or texts that push you to provide your information.