It has been reported that COVID-19 is causing a digital threat. Forbes claims that coronavirus is a good opportunity for companies to test remote work structures. Everyone is covering COVID-19, few are covering the real risk that comes with trying to contain this virus.
Thousands of workers have been forced to work remotely as a result of this new health scare and thousands more across the globe are preparing to soon join them.
As top countries prepare to turn their brick and mortar offices into virtual work hubs, companies are forced to assess the vulnerability that comes with being remote.
Apps and platforms, like Slack and Whatsapp, that were created to help workforces sync across multiple locations can pose security that can compromise the vitality of any business.
ON REMOTE RISK:
The risk of digital fraud rises as your remote workforce increases. From the inside, if you’ve never met a fellow employee in person, then fake identities become more powerful and likely. For example, without the right security measures in place, a bad actor can easily impersonate a remote employee via Microsoft Teams or Slack, delivering malicious links to your workforce.
“The press exposure around large scale enterprises closing their offices and encouraging people to work remotely is a signal to attackers that larger populations are moving into 3rd party platforms to conduct business as usual, which will naturally increase cyber attack activity. Bad actors will undoubtedly aim to steal the credentials of employees to get inside,
or try to infiltrate collaboration channels like Microsoft Teams and Slack directly.
It’s not difficult for bad actors to find which companies are using Teams or Slack. It can be as easy as looking them up on LinkedIn, where IT professionals often list their experience in the implementation of enterprise-wide Teams or Slack rollouts. Armed with this information, and knowing that more critical enterprise work will be conducted via these channels, hackers will focus more time, energy and effort to exploit them–they go where the action is.
ON SAFEGUARDING SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS:
It’s imperative to have a security solution in place that offers visibility at the chat level of 3rd party applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams, where the greatest level of risk is occurring. Employees are very likely to accidentally share PII or passwords in plain text sight, so companies must ensure message security for protection.
One major strength of slack is that it integrates with many other applications, but this can create exponential vulnerability. Take security measures to monitor for potential malicious links and infection within the application in real-time to mitigate risk.
The WhatsApp application is starting to take hold in the US, but it is almost ubiquitous in Europe, where countries are experiencing a severe COVID-19 infection rate. Already companies are having employees work from home for extended periods of time, and more communications will naturally take place over WhatsApp. This is a critical channel, and one can expect bad actors to focus on this application as well. SafeGuard Cyber hardens the app so people can still conduct business on it without worrying about compromises or sensitive data leaks.