ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Cyber security during the coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has escalated the risk of malicious cyber attacks as organisations large and small increase their reliance on remote working and online services. This page gathers together ICAEW insights and externally-produced resources providing practical advice on how to keep your IT systems and networks safe.

ICAEW insights

Coronavirus guide: cyber hygiene and data


Criminals thrive in times of uncertainty and fear, and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has already reported an increase in cyber threats which refer directly to the coronavirus. This guide outlines the key steps to basic cyber hygiene and highlights some useful resources.

Coronavirus and a new wave of cyber attacks – a reminder of some of the basics


It's a sad fact that criminals thrive in times of uncertainty and fear, and there's already been a spike in cyber attacks related to the coronavirus outbreak. With so many employees now working at home, often using new unfamiliar apps, companies need to be especially vigilant regarding cyber threats. So here is a quick reminder of some basic good practices and some useful resources to share with staff.

Cybercriminals unleash wave of COVID-19 attacks on businesses


Updated 23 April: Within 24 hours of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being launched, online fraudsters had sent a flurry of phishing emails targeting unsuspecting businesses claiming to be from HMRC chief executive, Jim Harra.

How should financial services respond to coronavirus and the cyber-security threats that come with it?

Premium Content: This is exclusive item - please log in or subscribe to view this item.


In 2002 the then US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld claimed that when he looked to the future he saw two kinds of unforeseen event: the “known unknown” and the “unknown unknown”. Rumsfeld was lampooned for his statement at the time, but with the rise of COVID-19 and its knock on effects on IT systems across the world, many are coming face to face with the stark reality of this infamous truism.

External resources

Digital Identity supports a secure remote digital workforce during COVID-19

PwC 14-05-2020

White paper published by PwC on the role of Identity and Access Management (IAM) to cyber security and the current and future challenges to enabling access to a remote workforce, ensuring continuity of services, and managing risks and compliance. The paper discusses the principles needed for robust enterprise IAM services, the lasting impact of COVID-19, and wider priorities to address different COVID-19 scenarios.

Tips for cybersecurity when buying and selling online

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity 31-03-2020

The EU Agency for Cybersecurity has developed 10 tips for SMEs and citizens to stay secure when buying and selling online which may be an issue during the COVID-19 emergency.

Cyber Security Advice during Coronavirus

South West Grid for Learning Trust 23-03-2020

Guidance outlining the types of scams that have increased during the COVID-19 emergency and guidance on how to deal with them.

Home working: preparing your organisation and staff

NCSC 17-03-2020

Guide by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to help organisations protect against risks from increased home working, plus advice on spotting coronavirus (COVID-19) scam emails. It gives practical recommendations on setting up new accounts and accesses, preparing for home working, controlling access to corporate systems, helping staff to look after devices, removable media, using personal rather than work devices – alongside links to more detailed guidance on choosing and setting up systems. See also the news story Cyber experts step in as criminals seek to exploit Coronavirus fears.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.

* Some of the content on this web page was provided by the Chartered Accountants’ Trust for Education and Research, a registered charity, which owns the library and operates it for ICAEW.