Data theft and the direct impact on user protection

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, thousands of employees have had to switch to remote work.

An upheaval that will put a little to bare the security flaws. With telework now becoming something standard because of distance and containment measures, the computer systems of companies are increasingly exposed. So the issue of the protection of personal data, and the confidentiality of information of a professional nature become something topical or essential.

Cyber criminals, true to their habits, have tried to take advantage of this global health crisis. They always try it. This has not failed to be noticed with a significant upsurge in cyber-malveillance acts of all kinds. On the one hand, there are thefts of personal data and on the other, ransomware and denial of services. Online scams have been based exclusively or mostly on sales techniques related to hydroalcoholic gel, still protective masks, through the ever-present phishing, which takes the lead in the most performed or attempted cyber-monitoring actions during the last 6 months. But it was for individuals. But not that. On the other hand, large companies have been the most sensitive during this period and continue to be so. "These include pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and agri-food companies. These thefts include sensitive data, whether financial, banking, production or personal data of users or patients. dominique Bourrinet, director of legal affairs at Société Générale.

For example, we can cite the case of the Paris Public Hospital Assistance (AP-HP) which saw on 22 March several of its servers decommissioned following a computer attack. It was a denial-of-service attack. Cyber criminals have stormed the health organization's servers through hundreds of useless queries to saturate the network. Thus computer security experts have observed an increase of nearly 25% in online attacks. The massive adoption of remote work systems is no stranger to this. Indeed between March 1 and 23, 2020, the cybersecurity specialist company barracuda Networks recorded a 667% increase in attempted computer attacks on the basis of phishing. And of course, the most commonly used theme during these attempts was coronavirus where other variations advererating.

One of the reasons for the exceptional increase in cyber-malicious acts or attempted computer attacks is the use of materials that cause domestic use for professional work. Indeed, not all companies have equipped their teleworkers, often leaving them the choice to equip themselves with their personal tools. Tools that unfortunately did not correspond to the need for security and confidentiality. It is this equipment problem that is the cause of the majority of computer attacks. Cyber criminals are able to easily access professional networks by simply using the employee as a Trojan horse.

On the issue, all directions are the foot of war. From the directorates-general to the legal branches via the IT security directorates, all with concern and vigilance. "We have ensured that the strict cyber security guidelines are followed: no printing, no transfer outside the computer network unless agreed or special procedures," says Dominique Bourrinet. "Everything here was well-established ahead of the health crisis. But at the beginning of the containment period, some companies were forced to organize the remote work of some of their employees at an emergency. As a result, they have made security concessions and have, in some cases, allowed the use of personal equipment, not without consequences on the personal and corporate data. ». A reality that is recognized by almost all security experts. The rush in organizing telework and other remote activities to cause much more damage, than attacks orchestrated by cyber criminals. Security vulnerabilities have become prevalent, which may facilitate cyber-intelligence in the future.

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