After the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, several employees are working from home. Read on to know the security vulnerabilities from working from home…
After the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, several employees are working from home. While social distancing is a reliable way to help slow or even stop the spread of a biological virus, it could have the opposite effect when it comes to IT security. Hackers are exploiting the situation created by Corona biological virus to infect us with a digital virus. Hackers have turned their eyes on breaking into companies’ networks and systems in absence of robust, multi-layered firewall and security solutions within the boundaries of workers’ homes.
Exploiting Social Isolation
Overall, it’s highly probable that cyberattacks will intensify. Hackers don’t pay attention to the ethical circumstances; they don’t feel bad stealing your information, even during a global crisis. Hackers know a lot of people are worried and anxious and looking for clear information on COVID-19 and will absolutely take advantage of people being in a panic and isolated from each other.
The sudden increase in remote work that several organizations have instituted over the past week introduces a new set of cybersecurity risks to organizations. The fundamental issue is the communication that is entirely online makes it much easier for bad actors to use deception to gain access to systems. This type of hack, generally known as social engineering, relies on con artistry rather than code.
As more employees are working remotely, they will also be using their personal devices like computers, laptops smartphones, etc. to conduct more business. Employees must be very careful not to download sensitive information to their personal devices, but instead, use technology that enables them to access their work computer remotely. In an ideal situation, they should all use a work-issued laptop that is patched appropriately. The key to working remotely is to stay calm, use good judgment, and always do a gut check on what you are clicking on and opening.
While working from home during the outbreak, employees should also be on the lookout for phishing emails related to the coronavirus including spear phishing emails.
In a report last year, Microsoft said that enabling a MFA solution for online accounts usually blocks 99.9% of all account takeover (ATO) attacks, even if the attacker has valid credentials for the victim’s account. In the light of an expected increase in VPN phishing attacks, home users should look very closely at enabling a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solution to protect VPN accounts from unauthorized access. IT staff now need to pay close attention to the new VPN servers they are putting up and make sure these systems have been patched for the vulnerabilities listed above, which are some of the most targeted vulnerabilities today.
When employees are adjusting to working from home, they may deal with discreet information about sensitive projects, products, services or work deliverables. In such situations, employees should know from their IT security team about which tools are approved and how to use them securely. Employees should also discourage the use of unapproved platforms, instant messaging or text messaging when discussing work matters. Employees should also know how to reach the IT department in case of any issues, so they do not feel forced to work from personal devices or equipment that has not been secured.