Interview: Check Point MD explains how Covid-19 opened the floodgates to cyber threats

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Written by Arun Rawal
| New Delhi |

December 24, 2020 6:12:12 pm


Deepfake movies shall be used to unfold misinformation in 2021 (Representational Image)

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impression on the means we do issues whether or not it’s official or private work. Offices had to squeeze years of developments in a couple of weeks or months to allow workers to work from distant areas. While folks have been adapting to the new regular of distant working, hackers and scammers have been devising new methods to lay traps for the susceptible individuals who have been used to the IT division fixing every little thing for them.

We talked to the cybersecurity agency, Check Point Software Technologies about how the business has developed and whether or not they’re poised to tackle the challenges they are going to be dealing with in 2021. Sundar N Balasubramanian, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Check Point Software Technologies informed indianexpress.com how the novel coronavirus pressured drastic modifications.

“According to a study, a staggering 87 per cent of companies plan to expedite their cloud migration in the post-pandemic world, and 68 per cent of companies are using two or more cloud providers as part of their migration efforts. The increased use of the cloud means an increased demand for security solutions, especially technologies that secure workloads, containers and serverless applications on multi and hybrid cloud environments. Organisations in India too are looking to leverage their security investments to protect their data” he stated.

Misconfiguration opened up workers and firms to threats

Balasubramanian additionally talked about how the lack of “basic cyber hygiene” led to workers and firms getting uncovered to threats. “Organisation’s security priorities related to IT have changed in response to the new normal. With the rush to enable remote access, companies allowed connectivity from unmanaged home PCs that often lacked basic cyber-hygiene. In addition, many Infosec and DevOps teams rushing to the cloud did not scale their cloud security postures to the level of their traditional data centers,” he stated.

“According to our 2020 Cloud Security Report, the highest-ranking threat was misconfiguration, with 68 per cent of companies citing this as their greatest concern (up from 62 per cent from the previous year). Misconfiguration takes place when a cloud-related system, tool, or asset is not configured properly, thus endangering the system and exposing it to a potential attack or data leak. This threat was followed by unauthorized access (58 per cent), insecure interfaces (52 per cent), and account hijacking (50 per cent).”

Cybercriminals evolving

Cybercriminals additionally developed throughout this time. He additionally pointed in direction of a examine by the cybersecurity agency about the enhance of ransomware assaults and that organisations must be prepared for extra in the upcoming 12 months. He stated, “Cybercriminals have been seeking new infection vectors improving their techniques to avoid detection. A study published by Check Point Research in October stated that organisations worldwide were attacked by a massive wave of ransomware attacks. In 3 months alone, the daily average of ransomware attacks increased by 50 per cent.”

“According to our predictions for 2021 blog, the year saw a sharp rise in the double-extortion ransomware attacks where attackers threaten to publish the data unless ransom is paid, putting extra pressure on organisations to meet hackers’ demands. This highlights how threat actors will always take advantage of major events or changes to exploit and target organisations across all sectors.”

More pretend information

Additionally, not simply corporations however people are susceptible to falling into the pit of misinformation. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) bettering by the day, deepfake movies may also be a device that shall be used to idiot people who find themselves simply impressionable. A involved Balasubramanian delineated the main menace as he predicted cybercriminals’ behaviour going ahead.

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“As a trend outlined in Check Point’s predictions for 2021, the techniques for fake video or audio are now advanced enough to play a major role in creating a targeted content to manipulate opinions, stock prices or worse. Earlier this year, a political group in Belgium released a deepfake video of the Belgian prime minister giving a speech linking COVID-19 to environmental damage and calling for action on climate change. Many viewers believed the speech was real even if it wasn’t. At a simpler level, audio could be faked for voice phishing – so that a CEO’s voice could be forged giving instructions to make a cash transfer to accounts staff, or to by voice recognition software,” he stated.

He additionally outlined a couple of simple steps that might be thought-about a begin to escape the cyberattacks. These suggestions included setting good passwords and never simply their names or a simple sequence of numbers, not clicking on suspicious hyperlinks on emails or web sites earlier than cross-checking even when they appear professional and in addition selecting the work machine fastidiously together with putting in anti-virus software program to add one other layer of safety.

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