File picture: AP
File picture: AP

Lockdown remote working raises risk of cyberattacks

By Staff Writer Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Cape Town – Businesses and employees have been urged to be alert as working remotely could create the perfect environment for cybercriminals to strike.

Director of the newly established IT advisory division of Mazars SA, Terence Govender said with most employees being told to stay at home and work remotely, this created the ideal world for cyberattackers to exploit.

“During times of crisis, people are naturally more vulnerable to cyberattacks as cybersecurity is, understandably, one of the last things on their mind. 

" Cybercriminals will, no doubt, try to take advantage of people and businesses while they are in this vulnerable state.”

Govender said he predicted a significant spike in ransomware attacks and phishing scams in the coming weeks. “

While all businesses are at risk, SMEs tend to be most vulnerable as they typically have fewer measures in place to protect their systems and data.

“Another major target will be businesses operating in the medical, health and pharmaceutical industries - where cyber attackers are already claiming vaccine formulas in return for cryptocurrencies,” Govender said.

Kaspersky statistics showed a sharp spike in network attacks in South Africa between March 15 and 21, with affected devices increasing from 20 000 to 30 000 on average to about 310 000.

Kaspersky’s Maher Yamout said the peak coincided with the public response to the national emergency.

“Remote working provides cybercriminals a prime opportunity to target devices, especially those that don’t necessarily have adequate IT security measures in place.”

Cape Times

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