Hackers and the problem of telecommuting

If there has been one of the most beneficial things for cybercrime, it is probably telework that brings thousands of people to work from home.

This of course necessitated massive use of COMPUTER solutions. And of course, it says vulnerability that will allow cyber-prisoners to be able to illicitly break into systems with the aim of either taking control of them or stealing personal information. Things are even easier for cyber criminals when even users of its IT services do not take sufficient measures to protect themselves.

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According to experts since March, which roughly coincides with the announcement of general containment in virtually the whole world, computer attacks have experienced a boom. "There has been a fairly phenomenal increase over the last five months (…) violent attacks by different companies in the Quebec City area," noted Simon Fontaine, president of ARS Solutions, a company specializing in computer security.

In Quebec for example companies have been the victim of attacks based mainly on ransomware. These cyberattacks that allow hackers to take control of corporate networks and systems, with the aim of claiming to make the payment of a ransom.

As we know, to succeed in this kind of bet, cyber malice will use malicious mail, that is, emails that are often accompanied by booby-trapped links. These techniques work by relying on the credulity of the targeted people and in particular the employees, who do not take the security measure seriously where are naïve enough to believe an email from an unsafe source.

In another sense, the explosion of remote work tools has also allowed cybercriminals to sit in a certain way. Indeed, the switch to telework was not done in accordance with a well-defined procedure. Things have been rushed. This has not facilitated the implementation of a security protocol that is reliable enough to stand in the way of cyber malice. "Right now what we're seeing a lot are collaboration tools like Microsoft, Teams, Zoom for video conferencing; these softwares have often been installed quickly, security is often more or less well put in place," says Fontaine.

In addition, teleworkers are not sufficiently concentrated when they are at home. Indeed, the family environment and certain personal needs do not allow the employee who works from home to be sufficiently in tune with the rules to be applied. It becomes careless and very vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Not to mention that a very large part of the companies that had to switch to telecommuting mode did not have enough tools and skills to protect workers remotely, as well as their computer tools. Their data is thus exposed.

According to Simon Fontaine, the consequences of a computer attack on a company that does not have reliable enough security measures, can be very disastrous. "Most have to stop their activities for two to four weeks, they will lose between six months to a year of information. There are some that we almost lost everything, because there was nothing in place to protect their data," he notes.

Seen in this regard, it is recommended that companies improve their computer systems as much as possible. They need to invest even more in security.

However, some experts believe that the problem at this level is quite complex to deal with. In a sense they are not wrong. "I think there's been a very strong trend in Quebec and Canada for the last 18 months," he says. I think it's just a continuation of the growing phenomenon of cyberattacks. Guillaume Clément of Egyde-KPMG believes that the problem is more complex and should be observed with caution.

He explains that cybercriminals are also adapting to change. This could make it even more difficult to upgrade companies. For him, Quebec companies are doing their best and they must continue to do so. "We're heading in the right direction. These are things that take time, we are talking about massive investments. ».

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