The pandemic has changed the way business operations are being conducted. The lockdowns have resulted in the adoption of teleworking by most organizations across the world, so as to keep the organizations running, even as the pandemic persists.
Hacking is a form of cyber-attack that involves obtaining an organization’s IT system access from outside the organization. Cyber criminals utilize social engineering, and hoax staff into exposing their usernames plus passwords. Cybercriminals mainly use malicious emails, and have launched attacks that are majorly aiming at taking advantage of the chaos, which have been resulted from the coronavirus.
Examples of Hackings
Increased remote working has resulted in numerous hacking attempts of home workers. For instance, there was a large spiteful email movement that acted against UK businesses, which told the workers they could opt to be absent, by signing up to a particular website.
Cyber criminals have also targeted the technological tools utilized by home workers. For instance, there have been sham appeals to reorganize workers’ virtual private networks (VPN) accounts. Also, others have received zoom video meeting accounts with falsified sign-in pages.
Also, chats requests purporting to be originating from colleagues through an allegedly corporate messaging structure. Hence, it is evident that the cybercriminals have worked day and night to exploit the separation of the workforces, which has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Spoofing, which is a form of hacking, has also been on the increase. There have been emails claiming to be originating from colleagues. Normally, you would expect only a fifth of spiteful emails to utilize spoofing, however, it that rate has risen to about 60%, since the pandemic struck.
An example of a spoofing attack is where a chief executive to a company not mentioned, was allegedly requesting employees to contribute to his health kitty. Others would impersonate IT support units, asking employees to download novel software.
This has caused the cyber intelligence organizations to alert people on the rise of hacking cyber-attack, and that they should report any hacking and phishing attempts, as they work on blocking the malicious websites.
Reasons for the rise in hacking of home workers
1. Absence of firewall
Most worker’s computer systems and tablets do not have firewall software. A firewall acts as a barrier between your work or data from cybercriminal’s activities. Thus, the absence of firewall exposes the workers to hacking plus all other forms of cyber-attacks.
2. Absence of VPN’s
A virtual private network (VPN) provides privacy to any online user, from all those sniffing about the internet for any exposed individual so that they can access and steal their data. Most workers do not have VPNs, whereas others tend to prefer working from the public Wi-Fi without realizing how exposed they are.
Hackers like to also use the freely available Wi-Fi because that is where they get to draw data from the not so unsuspecting internet users. Therefore, this has caused the workers to be exposed to hacking, which explains why home workers’ hacking has been on the rise.
3. Lack of anti-virus
Most workers, having been forced to work from home, have had to buy laptops or computers to enable remote working. Most of the workers do not have antiviruses in their computers, and even those that have could be using the free versions, which are not strong enough to protect them. That has resulted in their exposure.
Others have had to work from places like cyber cafés due to the lack of laptops, or internet in their homes. Most cyber café’s computers do not have antivirus, which leaves them exposed. Moreover, they are not so familiar with cyber café’s computers, which may cause them to make mistakes like saving passwords to their company job sites in those computers, which makes it easy for a hacker to cause an attack from the inside of the organization.
4. Weak passwords
Workers have passwords that facilitate their access to their organization’s work site. However, such passwords may not be too strong nor secure enough to prevent them from getting hacked. Also, some workers may be too careless to remember not to save passwords in cyber café’s computers, which are accessed by everyone. This causes serious exposure which can lead to them getting hacked.
Solution to Hacking
- Install a firewall in the worker’s computer systems at home. The company should take responsibility, so as to ensure the workers, and hence the organization at large is safe from hacking.
- Install and maintain antivirus and antimalware in the worker’s computers or laptops. If possible, the organization should bear the cost, since it is for the organization’s good. One of the trusted antivirus is Kaspersky, which will work effectively towards detecting and preventing cybercriminals’ intrusion.
- Educate and train employees on how to use the internet safely, how to identify hackers and to encourage them to avoid responding to hackers and report them to the necessary bodies in charge.
- Employees should use strong and safe passwords. Also, they should avoid saving passwords on unfamiliar computers, and to avoid using public Wi-Fi if they do not have VPNs installed in their devices.
As long as the employees remain exposed, without the preventive measure against hacking, the hacking cyber-attack shall continue rising. Therefore, there is a need for organizations to ensure even as the employees operate from home, they remain protected, as this will benefit the whole company at large.