Optimizing Cybersecurity Apps in the Remote Working Era | Hacker Noon

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@AyodeleAyodele Johnson

Digital PR Expert, Tech Enthusiast and founder at activelinkpro.

The fact that businesses struggle with cyberattacks daily is no longer news; however, outfalls from a global pandemic and cybersecurity statistics reveal a huge rise in hacked and breached data incidents from sources that employees increasingly use to carry out their tasks, such as mobile and IoT devices. The rise in cyberattack incidents can be attributed to the increase in the number of people who now have to telework as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remote working is not completely a new phenomenon; before the outbreak of coronavirus, some organizations had arrangements in which their employees could work from home maybe once a week or thereabout. However, COVID-19 made this a norm rather than an exception.

According to Statista, 17 percent of U.S. employees worked from home 5 days or more per week, and this figure rose to 44 percent during the pandemic. When employees were not teleworking, most business transactions are dependent on the internet, and now that they have to remote-work, the dependence on the internet and devices such as iPhones, Androids, iPads, iPods, Macs, Laptops, and Desktops must also increase.

Communication is the heartbeat of any organization, and these devices enable employees to be remotely connected. Without mincing words, the reality is that little or nothing can be achieved without these devices.

Another unfortunate angle to remote working is that some employees have to rely on public WiFi, which to a large extent is not very reliable. Cybercriminals are very quick to catch in on these lapses, leading to the increase we are seeing in cyberattacks.

Why cybercrimes must be of great concern to organizations is that there is no sign of it abating very soon. According to findings from Cybersecurity Ventures, worldwide cybercrime costs will hit $6 trillion annually, damage costs from ransomware will rise to $20 billion, and any business on the list of these cybercriminals will fall victim to ransomware attacks every 11 seconds by 2021. 

The report also says that damage due to cybercrime is estimated to reach the $10.5 trillion mark annually by 2025.

These are frightening figures by any standard and organizations ought to do whatever is possible to secure their sensitive information.

Prevalent attacks on iPhones, iPads, and Macs

As secure as you may want to believe that iPhones are, they are still susceptible to cyberattacks. ZecOps, a San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company, discovered a bug in iPhones and iPads, known as the Mail app, which is a vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely steal data off iPhones even if you are running recent versions of iOS.

This is a very serious situation going by the fact that as of 2019, Apple reported that they had 900 million daily active users of iOS in the world. This was before the pandemic when teleworking was still not the norm. 

One can only imagine the number now that most businesses have to resort to remote working, and more devices are needed to ensure ease of communication among employees, as well as the free flow of business transactions.

Most attacks from cybercriminals on devices are based on:

I. Phishing

Email is still very relevant in the conduct of business and that’s why phishing is probably on the increase as witnessed during the pandemic. Though phishing attacks declined in 2019, they accounted for 1 in every 4,200 emails in 2020. CSO Online also reports that phishing attacks are responsible for more than 80 percent of reported security incidents. 

An employee working remotely can be enticed to click on a link in a text message or an email, hackers then use the medium to steal personal information or to install malware on your smartphone. A phishing attack aims to infect your iPhone with malware with the likelihood of breaching your data.

II. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated and the impact more detrimental on brands. The cost of a ransomware attack on businesses averages $133,000

Ransomware detections are more prevalent in countries like the U.S. that have higher numbers of internet-connected populations, U.S. ranks first on the list of countries that suffer ransomware attacks with 18.2 percent of all ransomware attacks.

2020 came with some shocking ransomware attacks, and they include:

The Software AG ransomware attack

Software AG is the second-biggest software company in Germany and also the seventh-largest in Europe, the company suffered an unfortunate cyber threat back in October 2020. The hackers released Clop ransomware and demanded a $23 million ransom in exchange for the company’s documents and employees’ personal data.

The Sopra Steria ransomware attack

Another organization that was heavily hit by ransomware called Ryuk was Sopra Steria, a French IT service firm.

The Seyfarth Shaw malware attack

Seyfarth Shaw LLP, a leading international legal firm located in Chicago was not left out in a ransomware attack in October 2020. The attack affected their entire email system.

Cybersecurity apps

Cybersecurity apps are part of the latest innovation in combating cybercrimes. A cybersecurity app is primarily designed to keep networks, websites, and wireless devices such as iPhones, iPads, Androids, iPods, and Macs secure from would-be hackers and their malice. 

While measures like VPNs and zero-trust strategy are still very relevant in mitigating cyberattacks, you still need to go the extra mile in ensuring that you safeguard your business and possibly that of your customers from cyber-attack. For this reason, you need to integrate the most effective tools that will enhance threat detection, response, and reporting into your security network.

Example:

1. Intruder

Taking into consideration that on average, we discover over 8,000 new vulnerabilities in common software and hardware platforms every year, which translates into over 20 every single day, it becomes imperative that there will be apps to help in tackling these problems. The reason is that most businesses don’t have the time and resources to check their systems as often as is necessary. 

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You, therefore, need an app to take care of, and that’s where the Intruder comes in. It helps to avoid costly data breaches by scanning and discovering vulnerabilities and cybersecurity weaknesses in your digital infrastructure.

 2. Switcherry VPN & WiFi Proxy

Switcherry VPN app is said to be able to operate on a one-touch connection, is a free mode (no ads), will make you private and anonymous on all your devices, can protect your personal data and privacy on public WiFi, and secure your connection from any type of tracking. 

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This app supports cross-channel platforms and can be easily available on App Store and Google Play that are compatible with Android, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Google Chrome extensions.

3. Syxsense secure

Syxsense Secure is the world’s first IT management and security solution, the app combines vulnerability scanning, patch management, and endpoint security in a single cloud console. The app works for windows, macOS, and Linux. 

The app simplifies complex IT and security processes with a drag-and-drop interface. Because of its pre-built templates, it can keep your organization secure in the absence of large teams and specialists.

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Conclusion

Cybersecurity borders on protecting hardware, software, and data from attackers. The proliferation of iPhones, iPads, and Macs as a result of the need to meet up with the demand caused by remote working deemed it extremely necessary that cybersecurity apps must be optimized to automatically detect threats, monitor security policies, and protect your network.

While the VPN technology and zero-trust strategy are still very much relevant in tackling the menace constituted by cybercriminals, cybersecurity apps can augment your efforts. A mix of different measures will put you in good stead to secure your network and devices.

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