The Privacy Issues you might consider when your staff is working from home
Just as POPIA is implemented, we are all faced with new security issues caused by the COVID lockdown. Companies that used to operate from traditional office space, using one internet browser, a server, firewalls, and cybersecurity software, are now faced with staff working from home, unable to ensure that privately-owned electronic equipment is not being used or to ensure that home internet browsers are sufficiently secure. Mimecast’s recent “100 Days of Coronavirus threat intelligence report” shows the volume of cybercrime attacks has increased by 33% from January to March 2020.
This Newsletter has reported extensively on the challenges faced by both individuals and companies (and government for that matter) by the activities of cybercriminals. One of our favourite sources on the need for better cybersecurity is Kaspersky. In its latest report, ‘Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level’, points out that 87% South Africans invent their own passwords and 72% do not know how to check whether these passwords have been leaked. The survey found that only 63% of South Africans surveyed for the report said they remembered all of their passwords – while 18% use their internet browser to store their passwords and a further 10% stored their passwords on a file on their computer.
In general, EFSA is greatly concerned that both business and consumers are facing new and potentially disastrous cybersecurity challenges:
- Working from home has opened multiple vectors for cyberattacks through the heightened dependency on personal devices and home networks.
- Social engineering tactics are even more effective on a distracted and vulnerable workforce.
- Security Operations Centers (SOCs) have been designed to look for anomalous behaviours; today, SOCs are operating with impaired visibility because everything looks anomalous.
- Critical business assets and functions are significantly more exposed to opportunistic and targeted cyberattacks by criminal organizations and nation-states seeking to exploit vulnerabilities and plant seeds for future attacks.
- Public-sector services such as hospitals and healthcare services are under acute pressure and have been hit particularly hard by new types of ransomware aimed at disrupting connectivity and denial-of-service attacks.
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