Telework has not only disrupted the way work is structured today, it also forced us to change production tools. The first confinement has already forced many individuals to turn to their personal computers in order to be able to continue working, in conditions sometimes far removed from working conditions, especially with regard to computer security. Because so often, an individual is far from being as well equipped against cyber attacks as a large company, sometimes with a dedicated service. Its vulnerabilities make it an attractive target for hackers who might use their computers to access professional data
“We went during the first booking from two million to five million remote workers, so there are an additional 3 million remote workers in 24 hours,” Christophe Korn, CEO of Systancia, the French editor of cybersecurity software, recalls Thursday. France is moving In Europe 1.
Why are remote workers more exposed?
“It was necessary to use personal computers, and this is often the beginning of the problems,” Systancia CEO slides. In fact, these computers are seldom validated by a business owner, nor are they equipped with an effective firewall like the ones used by companies. However, cybersecurity is the business owner’s responsibility. It is up to him to provide the employee with the necessary technology because, as Christoph Korn points out, “an individual does not have the ability to manage their own IT security the way a company does.”
The proliferation of remote work is also feeding the appetite of hackers as it increases the surface of their attack and the amount of data that circulates on individual computers every day. “As digital technology takes an increasing place in your professional or personal life or your life as citizens, the data about us gain value,” explains Hugues Foulon, Director of Cybersecurity Strategy and Activities at Orange, who is also a guest on France is moving.
Who are the hackers who target individuals?
“There are three families of attackers,” Hughes Fullon recounts. “There are above all the hackers, who are looking more for performance, and are identified for overcoming a technical problem. Then the mafia, or malicious companies, even criminals when they attack hospitals, that seek to steal profits: stealing money, embezzling money, signing or buying order.” “Finally, the third category, which we talk about a little bit, is the states or agencies that depend on a state, whose goal will be to destabilize an enemy state and weaken part of its activities.”
Individuals are primarily exposed to the second type – electronic organizations seeking to make money – but depending on the strategic importance of the company they work for, they may also be targeted by other attackers.
What are the attacks?
For individuals, hunting – “trolling” in good French – remains the best practice method for launching an attack. “If we see a lot of it, it’s because it works,” Hugues Foulon notes. The goal is to deceive the victim by making him believe that he is addressing a trusted third party, in order to obtain sensitive information from him. “Thinking of receiving an email from their bank, people click on an attachment that would infect their computers, and search for bank details.”
Ransomware, or ransomware, is a method of extortion that affects companies more than individuals. “Malware encrypts data, and hackers pretend that it cannot be recovered unless they pay a ransom,” explains Hugues Foulon. But since remote work often requires us to connect to business interfaces via personal computers, an individual might unintentionally become the ransomware’s gateway to their company data.