In a year already riddled with challenges and difficulties in both our personal lives and in businesses, it is of no surprise that cyber criminals are compounding the effects of COVID-19 and delivering more destruction, this time to UK contruction firm RMD Kwikform.

Based in Walsall, with over 1400 employees around the world, the company confirmed that they are currently investigating a security breach that occured in November 2020, with the overall effects yet to be determined. RMD Kwikform, who provides engineering services to major infrastructure projects around the world, including Hong Kong’s new cruise liner terminal building in Kai Tak, has reported to the National Cyber Security Centre and Information Commissioner’s Office – a step that must now be taken in the event of a data breach.

Earlier in the year the firms parent company Interserve, who contributed to the build of the highly anticipated NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, also suffered a cyber attack. The temporary hospital which was constructed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to help ease pressure from NHS hospitals and took over 100,000 construction hours to create, with help of employees, contractors and the British Army.

These are just two examples of the wave of cyber attacks on UK businesses we are seeing as part of cyber criminals ongoing efforts to disrupt and destroy the livelihoods of business owners and employees, and the national effort against COVID-19.

The spike in cyber crime due to COVID-19 and the increase in elaborate scams has saw the UK Government warn both public and private organisations to remain vigilant and report any suspicous emails or sms messages to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS)

So what has this taught us about cyber crime and the criminals behind it? Why would they target organisations who are contributing to the healthy and safety of people amidst an outbreak?

Quite simply – they do not discriminate, they do not care. Whether you have a construction site, a dental practice, a clothes boutique or a children’s charity – if you have data to steal, money to extort, or a reputation to destroy – then you could be a target for cyber criminals, and you may well be in the crosshairs.