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Remote Work Is Here To Stay, But So Are The Cyber Risks

More employees are going to work remotely. Learn why that presents even more cybersecurity challenges.

IT Communication Breakdowns Lead To Higher Data Security Risks

IT can assist employees working from home to stop a cyberattack, but employees must first make the call. We examine the cybersecurity issue of remote employees not communicating with IT.

Orion Malware Hack Increases The Need To Fortify A Vendor's Back Door

Microsoft found the Orion update malware on some of its network systems, emphasizing the serious nature of the hack. Learn how third-party suppliers increase cybersecurity risk.

Limit The Number Of Open Accounts To Limit Work-Related Cyber Exposure

Having too many accounts can leave employees vulnerable to cybercriminals. We explain why.

Pandemic-Related Cyberattacks Start To Emerge

In response to the pandemic, many organizations moved their operations online. IT and security teams have struggled to keep pace in securing the ever-changing attack surface because cybercriminals have developed new skills and methodologies to exploit the vulnerabilities of this digital environment.

Remote workers are increasingly accessing organizational data with their mobile devices, which creates more exposure for organizations.

Check Point Research found over 400 vulnerabilities in a Qualcomm Technologies DSP chip that is embedded into over 40 percent of mobile phones, including those made by Google, Samsung, and LG. In addition, cybercriminals are improving techniques to hide their malware in official app stores. 

Similarly, employees are connecting to their organization's network in ways not completely secure. For example, Check Point Research found that Open Source Apache Guacamole remote desktop gateway, which has been downloaded more than 10 million times worldwide, is susceptible to several critical Reverse RDP vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could allow a cybercriminal to launch an attack using the gateway from a compromised computer. Then, the hacker could spy on all incoming sessions, steal user credentials, and start new sessions to control network-connected computers.

Finally, a new ransomware tactic—double extortion—first appeared in early 2020. Before they encrypt a compromised database, cybercriminals steal large amounts of sensitive data and threated to publish it unless the victim pays a ransom. Evan Dumas "Attacks are constantly evolving. Is your organization keeping pace?" hcamag.com (Oct. 22, 2020).

Commentary

Two cyberthreats that have emerged and proliferated during the pandemic are COVID-19-themed attacks and Zoom-related phishing campaigns.

Organizations should train all employees to watch out for these two common attacks to help prevent hackers from infiltrating your network.

Coronavirus-themed malware attacks use social engineering techniques to take advantage of our concern over the virus. Thousands of coronavirus-related domain names have been registered to launch these attacks.

Fraudulent emails may claim to sell fake COVID-19 vaccines or medication. Others claim to offer “special coronavirus discounts” on merchandise.

Cybercriminals have also created phishing campaigns that capitalized on Zoom’s exponential growth from 10 million daily users in December 2019 to over 300 million a mere four months later. Check Point Research states that Zoom-related domains and fraudulent installation programs are related to a large increase in cyberattacks. Check Point has worked with Zoom to address vulnerabilities that could have allowed hackers to log into meetings or sent fake invites.

Train employees not to trust an unexpected email or notification related to COVID-19 or Zoom, as these are two popular areas being exploited by hackers. Do not click on links or attachments claiming to contain a COVID-19 cure. Only join Zoom meetings from sent by a known person that have been discussed in advance, and always password-protect Zoom meetings. If you receive a Zoom invitation you think may be legitimate, call the meeting organizer before clicking on the link.

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