By Pradeep Parthiban
There has been an increase in the number of people working from home due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Businesses have been forced to work remotely for social distancing purposes in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
But work from home policies have led to an increase in cyberattacks on businesses and governments. In this article, we’ll focus on the cybersecurity problems faced by organizations and possible ways of mitigating these dangers.
In the past two months, IBM X-Force (a cloud-based threat intelligence sharing platform) witnessed over 6000% increase in coronavirus-related spam. These spams were designed to mimic the WHO (World Health Organization) and the United States CDC (Center for Disease Control). Cybercriminals have been using the pandemic to attempt infiltrations into United States health agencies like the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The pandemic introduced several security challenges and forced organizations to make fast decisions. This paved way for nefarious people to compromise security operations and access restricted data. The possible impact on businesses is more precarious as operational environments are more stressed than they used to be. Attacks like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) could cause more damage than when the operational environments had additional capacity.
There is a higher potential for security attacks now. Your organization must deploy vulnerability management to ensure that your business is safe. Businesses must remain more vigilant more than ever as infrastructures are now deployed to support remote work.
Schools are closed and children now use online educational platforms. Some tuition websites are now being targeted with hackers having access to their platform and unencrypting user data for almost half a year. This caused a massive data breach that affected over 1 million users.
Companies leaking credi tcard details and facing similar attacks should be tested for PCI compliance. It is surprising as to why that attack occurred for that long without it been resolved.
IT priorities change over time, but security testing must never be compromised. Your app security testing and your website security must never be ignored.
Scammers now target remote working software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Slack. These apps have witnessed a tremendous increase in usage as businesses find a way to keep working amidst the pandemic.
For example, users of Zoom have witnessed several attacks with hackers gaining access to unsecured meeting rooms and spamming the meetings with unwanted images.
Security experts are now working hard to mitigate risks on productivity software due to their increased usage. All channels and pathways must be protected against lurking hackers. Productivity services are highly vulnerable in times like this and businesses that do not adopt standard cybersecurity measures are at risk the most.
Businesses must conduct continuous and regular vulnerability tests to patch security tests. All outdated software must be updated to the latest version to prevent threats.
How To Keep Your Business Protected During COVID-19
Lack of access to data centers, limited hardware and other reasons have compelled organizations to migrate apps to the cloud. To secure your cloud apps, you must understand that cloud providers secure the cloud, but not the data and applications on the cloud.
If you want to use IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) to support your apps, you must ensure that you use virtual firewalls to protect the apps, MFA to access the apps and a disaster/backup recovery plan to protect your data from failure and corruption.
If you are considering using SaaS (Software as a Service), you should have a CASB (cloud access security broker) and other similar software to ensure that the right data and access loss rules are enforced across all your user applications and groups.
During this pandemic, there has been an increasing use of digital communication tools. Less in-person conversations take place. This has seen a surge in the number of emails sent and received. Email security is more important than ever before. Tools like Radicati can help with independent testing. These tools should detect malware and prevent all phishing attacks.
Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) should be used to assist with spoof prevention and detection.
DNS (Domain Name System) Security
To prevent phishing and other hazardous links, you should have DNS protection at the endpoints. On the part of the organization, the DNS for devices at the corporate network might be protected. But on the employees’ part, the DNS might be left exposed.
It is advisable that employee use the DNS protection services of their ISP. This will protect the employees even if they click on dangerous links at home. It will deny employees access to dangerous links, thus protecting them. DNS protection services can also protect employees against ransomware and other attacks by blocking C2 (command-and-control) traffic.
This pandemic will disrupt a lot of things across several industries and change the way we work. Good cybersecurity practices are needed now more than ever. Critical assets to own now are crisis management and business continuity. Research and experience have shown that dynamic organizations are the ones that can communicate properly, coordinate responses, and organize their resources while deploying them fast.
Author Bio: Pradeep Parthiban is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software. He has a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He likes to discuss about software testing, big data and latest digital trends.