Businesses have switched their staff to telework due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most were either allowed (46 percent) or required (26 percent) to work at the comfort of their homes as part of the healthy precautionary measures to help fight against the virus. The number of remote jobs doubling when the government announced the second round of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas to contain the spread of the virus. Because of this transition, network changes impact business cybersecurity.
Why business cybersecurity is at risk when employees were transitioned to working from home
The safety implications of such a drastic transition over such a brief amount of time can not be overestimated. In normal conditions, shifting the entire workforce from secure IT environments to home networks with very little cyber defense would require long-term planning and training. But that wasn’t an option this year. As a result, setting up and managing secure connectivity turns out to be one of the most challenging aspects of switching to working from home (WFH), and this can make businesses at risk of cyber-attack and security breach.
When one is remotely working, even the common things telecommuters do during work at home are prone to cybercrime like connecting to the Internet to access emails.
Office vs Home Network Security
At the office, you are confident that you are connected to a secure Internet network configured by your professional IT personnel. When office equipment was transferred to each of the remote workers’ houses, it is expected that these people will be using the home set-up network to be able to connect to the Internet. With that alone, connecting your business terminals to the home set-up network might not be secured. To make all of the home Internet used by remote workers as secure as how IT personnel would want them to be, this will cost businesses a lot of money.
Internet scams exist in large numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These cybercriminals can mobilize at least a dozen cleverly socially engineered scams and hundreds of variants to fool people getting into the bait. Phishing emails may reach you requesting that you login to see if you are eligible. Scammers are asking you that you need to prove who you are by providing name, address, date of birth, bank account details, and at least two forms of proof of identity. Some ask you to upload a photo or scan of the front/back of a driver’s license, your passport ID page, and even copies of a utility bill.
You might be receiving an email that directs you to a form or an app to allow temporary local banking/posting asking for all your details. The app can infect your device and steal your details.
During the global health crisis, cybercriminals are targeting corporate devices and applications to things like consumer-grade routers and connecting ports such as USBs normally attached to home networks. There’s a type of cyber-attack involving a charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over USB called Juice Jacking. This could be that scammers loaded malware on a USB port or a USB cable connecting to one of these charging stations. While your phone is charging, the attacker might be able to infect your smartphone with a virus or malware that could track your keystrokes or even steal your data.
Normally, remote workers will be constantly told by their IT personnel, who are also working from home, to be always cautious and do checks before performing tasks on their computer. It can be, but not limited to, as follows:
1) Creating a very secured password for logging in;
2) Using multi-factor authentication where your access code will be sent via email or text message;
3) Updating the home device software;
4) Securing home networks;
5) Learning to detect cyber-attacks; and more.
But these are very difficult for non-technical employees.
DECODE 2020 Conference
That is why in these challenging times, Trend Micro, Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity, is organizing DECODE 2020, an annual conference with a valuable mission to help elevate cybersecurity for businesses and technology professionals. Trend Micro’s mission is to make the Internet a safer place, and they will continue to proactively disrupt cybercriminal activities.
On November 10-12, 2020, the 4th edition of the DECODE Cybersecurity Conference will go virtual. With the slogan “Elevate: Transform Rapidly, Seamlessly, Securely”, DECODE 2020 seeks to bring together more than 3,000 Filipino IT experts from different organizations around the country and abroad. In the middle of challenging times, the 3-day conference will discuss up-to-date information on the threat landscapes, industry trends, and emerging innovations for participants’ further empowerment.
As the summit is virtual, it is more than doubling the number of sessions — from 15 in the previous edition to 40 this year. Each of the 30-minute sessions will be streamed one by one instead of simultaneously, which was how it was handled physically in the previous three years.
Tracks about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Protection, and Privacy, and more will be presented by renowned industry experts from around the world. Among the highlights are the following keynote sessions:
- Melissa Hathaway, Hathaway Global, LLC President, who will discuss how digital infrastructures react to the “new normal” demands
- Philip Casanova, SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Trusted Technology Principal, who will share the timeless values he discovered in his two-decade journey as a Philippine-based cybersecurity professional
- Jon Oliver, Trend Micro Director and Data Scientist for Threat Research, who will share his evaluation of the current emergence of malware and security landscapes.
Also, DECODE 2020 will feature sidetracks outside regular sessions. As a virtual conference, it will also add new features such as a virtual lounge where attendees can network via a chat box during breaks.
To register for free, visit the official website at www.decodeph.com today.