Business has changed in many ways in the past year, thanks to the global health crisis. Many companies ceased to exist, while others sent their employees home to work where it was safer. However, the latter practice boosted another business: hacking. With workers using their less-secure home computers, it’s given way to an increase in cyberattacks, with some even using fake collaboration apps.
It’s easy to see how this increase in cyberattacks could happen. People working from home don’t take the same protections with their home computers that they would at work, and hackers know that. It’s led to a rise in malware attacks that are specifically targeting remote workers.
Cybersecurity company Wandera’s Cloud Security Report 2021 claims 52 percent of organizations had some type of a malware incident on a remote device. Two years ago that percentage was just 37 percent.
Often, software vulnerabilities are being utilized to move malware. It’s easier to do as remote workers don’t have the aid of a corporate IT team to help them manage the software and install security patches. Phishing emails trick the workers into downloading apps that install malware, though they believe they’re downloading work-related apps.
“More often than not, the offending apps were being downloaded and installed by the remote workers themselves,” said Wandera vice president Michael Covington.
“We saw a fairly large number of apps claiming to offer collaboration functionality, though in reality they were designed to steal private information, like messaging content, or trick the user into granting access to the camera and microphone, thus enabling a remote attacker to eavesdrop,” he continued.
Over a third of the users whose devices were compromised by downloaded malware continued to have access to corporate email, not knowing they had a compromised system giving out sensitive data to criminals. One in ten continued to use cloud services, which also gave hackers unknown access. This gave the hackers more bang for their buck after only attacking one machine.
No IT Help
It’s a difficult predicament for IT teams, as they’re often working remotely as well, which makes it hard for them to provide help. Yet, if they can find a way to get access to the employees, they can give advice on safer remote work practices.
“Continuously engaging with works on the sign-mechanisms they should use, the incident reporting they should follow, and the applications that are approved for work, will help everyone do their part to protect the business and its assets,” said Covington.
It stands to reason that the same would go for remote learning and that it, too, would be seeing an increase in cyberattacks. Parents are doing all they can to keep their children interested and involved when doing classwork at home. Practicing good cyber habits and teaching their children to do the same could be the last thing they’re worried about. Certainly, there’s no IT team involved there.
Of course, the team meeting software that employees and classrooms are falling to is Zoom, and that’s had its share of security issues this year. Luckily, Zoom seems to be on board now. Hopefully, remote employees and IT teams will fall in line and create a safer environment when working at home.