The most common cyber attacks affecting businesses with remote workers

Bahadir Candan
Post by Bahadir Candan
October 20, 2022
The most common cyber attacks affecting businesses with remote workers

Outside the safety of the office, workers and their digital equipment are often more vulnerable to cyber attacks from hackers all over the globe.

Remote working is often a convenient solution for employees and their organizations, but staff who work from home may unintentionally put your company’s data and networks at risk. Unattended devices, unsecured wi-fi connections and data breaches are just some of the potential cyber threats an organization with remote workers may face.

For some, the benefits of remote working outweigh the drawbacks. However, weighing up the pros and cons is crucial before allowing employees greater flexibility. Make sure you are aware of all threats before exposing your employees and company to a range of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Phishing

One of the most damaging and widespread threats, which is particularly dangerous to those working from home, is known as phishing. Phishing accounted for 90% of all breaches in 2020, having grown by 65% last year and accounting for over $12 billion in business losses.

Phishing attacks occur when a hacker impersonates a trusted contact and tricks a user into manually clicking a malicious link, downloading a corrupted file, or giving them access to confidential information. Credit card numbers, user logins, and other sensitive information are the main targets of phishing attacks.

As phishing targets the human element rather than digital networks, it is a particularly insidious form of attack that makes remote workers more vulnerable. As they aren’t connected to the private office network and lack a secure office atmosphere with peers who can give on-the-spot advice, phishing emails are more likely to be opened at home.

Therefore, educating your employees is of utmost importance when protecting against this form of cybercrime. Many email providers are very effective in spotting and quarantining phishing emails automatically. But regular reminders and employee training are still vital to protect your data, especially for remote employees using their own software or devices to access the corporate network.

Malware

Malware encompasses a variety of cyber threats, such as trojans and viruses. It comes in many different forms, but the uniting characteristic of malware is that it involves malicious code that hackers create to gain access to networks or compromise valuable data.

Malware usually originates from malicious downloads or connecting to devices already infected with bad code. Malware attacks can cripple expensive devices and even networks. Some may even open a “back door” to user data, putting customers and employees at risk.

Allowing employees to use their own devices for work increases the likelihood of a malware attack. If your employee hasn’t been issued a corporate laptop, printer, or other devices they need, this can cause vulnerabilities and security risks.

At your office, you may use VPNs and single sign-on solutions with encrypted tokens that keep everything secure on every device connected to the network. However, when working from home, your employee might think nothing of checking their work voicemail on their personal phone or using their tablet to reply to a work email.

It isn’t likely your staff will be willing or have the technical know-how to set up high-security encryption at home, so issuing them with work-only laptops and phones will ultimately be more effective when it comes to increasing security and keeping down costs.

DDoS

Distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) are a destructive type of cyber attack which renders targeted internet services inaccessible. For example, companies unable to access important documents and information, or internet service providers not being able to provide their service.

“Distributed” is used to describe this cyber attack as they often originate from more than one source at once. A botnet, a collective term for a group of devices, directs an attack by flooding the target with network requests. The intended outcome is that the server or network becomes overwhelmed, resulting in a denial of service to regular traffic and the website’s users.

DDoS attacks occur when hackers gain control of compromised devices or by using stolen or weak passwords to gain entry. These security lapses are more likely to happen when workers are conducting business from home, so the likelihood of DDoS attacks rises in this situation.

A DDoS attack in Oslo on 29th June 2022 lasted many hours, targeting large public and private institutions’ websites and the secure national data network. Russian sources were to blame, and it is thought the attack was motivated by sanctions on Russian goods and political disruption. In response, Norway’s National Security Authority (NSM) urged for additional measures in cybersecurity to defend against DDoS.

BGP hijacking

BGP hijacking is the term used to refer to incidents when hackers intentionally reroute Internet traffic by falsely announcing ownership of IP prefixes. By falsely offering a more “efficient” route towards your data’s intended location, your information travels through this malicious prefix, allowing its owners to control where that data lands. This means they are potentially able to harvest, hijack or ransom that data.

BGP hijacking is becoming an increasingly sophisticated choice for cybercriminals, which costs global corporations millions of dollars in privacy litigation and stolen data. Notable recent incidents include Amazon losing control of its IP addresses hosting cloud services. It took the corporation three hours to regain control, and in that time, hackers were able to steal $235,000 in cryptocurrency from users.

Corporations can protect their business and remote workers from BGP attacks by issuing company-owned digital devices installed with high-level cyber protection. For example, Anapaya’s SCiON-based solution enables users to control where their data travels, avoiding potentially insecure routes and choosing safer backup routes.

Protect your organization

Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective, and the above attacks are some of the most common that affect businesses worldwide. As well as multi-level technological protection, a culture of security awareness is essential.

Anapaya's SCiON technology combines the flexibility and accessibility of the public internet with the security and reliability of the private MPLS. SCiON defends your network at a foundational level, preventing DDoS attacks, unwanted IP requests, attempted connection from botnets, and outages due to misconfiguration.

To secure your data and ensure your company’s and your customers’ data is protected, get in touch with us and discover our cybersecurity solutions.

Bahadir Candan
Post by Bahadir Candan
October 20, 2022