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Cybersecurity during COVID-19

​​Is there any reason to believe COVID-19 makes governments vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Absolutely. In regards to cybersecurity—phishing, ransomware, hacking, and other scams—it is important to understand that your municipality is an ideal target.

This is especially true during times of crisis. Coronavirus and the increased communication that has accompanied the pandemic has set the stage for hackers and scammers to thrive. 

More people are working from home, where security standards are lower. More emails are arriving promising critical information sources, making it an ideal time for nefarious actors to send links that will compromise your systems. Lastly, due to the limitation of non-essential personnel and other staff working from home, governments had had to leverage commercial apps that normally would not have been approved for normal use. 

These factors make cities and towns a prime target.


What can we do to protect ourselves from cyber attacks right now?

Here are some tips you can use to safeguard your network:

  • If you are working from home, keep your work computer for business only. Surfing and other purposes should be limited and used only on your personal computer.
  • Avoid clicking links in emails or responding to suspicious emails.
  • Do not visit sites you are unfamiliar with.
  • Make sure you change your passwords often. Practice good password management.
  • Back up your important data frequently.
  • Do not leave devices unsecured with no password protection.
  • Make sure your devices are up to date on patches, have anti-virus/antimalware software installed.
  • If you are working from home, and need a non-standard application to help boost productivity, get it approved by your IT team first.
  • If you do not have a work computer and are using your home computer for work, please contact your IT resource to discuss what measures can be taken to ensure you have help protect the organizations network.

What should I do if my municipality's systems have been attacked, or if I suspect an attack?

If a member of the League's property and liability insurance pool experiences a cyber intrusion or incident, time is of the essence in mitigating the extent of the event. Members should contact our cyber insurance provider, Beazley, to report the claim and to mobilize resources.

To report a claim and to receive support services, click here or please go to the following URL:​

Cybersecurity is unfortunately always an issue for municipalities. That threat has only increased. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the League for guidance.