No one needs to be reminded that the world has changed. Nor that this new reality will herald in a whole new way of doing business. And no one needs to be told that remote working will now be central to the new way of doing business – we’re all living it (and if you have young kids, feeling it) right now.
“remote working will now be central to the new way of doing business”
That said, something we should all regularly remind ourselves of, is the importance of remaining vigilant on security – particularly as we increasingly depend on collaboration tools in both our personal and professional lives.
As the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has escalated, so too has the demand for online collaboration and video conferencing tools. With this spike in demand however, we’ve witnessed an alarming increase in the volume of security issues and threats related to a number of cheap and free tools currently on the market.
“we’ve witnessed an alarming increase in the volume of security issues and threats”
And we’re certainly not alone - these concerns have been reported by media globally and are a key focus currently for both the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (and you can monitor security threat development via their respective Twitter channels @ASDGovAu and @CyberGovAU).
One platform in particular (which won’t be named here) has borne the brunt of negative media globally, though it is certainly not alone.
Some key issues exposed include:
- No end-to-end encryption between meeting participants (despite the false claims of some otherwise), meaning a platform has full access to all data and content flowing between participants in both directions;
- Default settings are often highly unsecure, with security controls set to ‘off’ by default;
- Platform security vulnerabilities have enabled websites and hackers to hijack cameras even when not in use; and
- Randomly generated meeting ID numbers are easily guessed and brute forceable, allowing uninvited participants to access meetings (hackers have already begun publishing instructions on how to use tools to enable access to any open meetings across the globe).
“hackers have already begun publishing instructions on how to use tools to enable access to any open meetings”
What can you do to protect your business?
The only real defence against business tools with fundamental security vulnerabilities is to refrain from their use. Simply put – if you’re using inferior tools for business, you could be seriously compromising the security of your business, staff and customers – stop using them.
Get in touch with my team for free advice and to understand what you need to ensure your business remains secure while working remotely. We have over 15 years' experience assisting businesses with network collaboration to support remote working solutions.
Request to see, and carefully interrogate the security and privacy stance of the business tools you are using. For comparison, use this statement on security and privacy from Cisco, as an example of best practice.
Or take advantage of free trial offers, such as this 90-day free trial offer from Webex, which we will strengthen through free consultation and support.
It can take time to adapt to change and to find the right long-term solution for your business. As you embark on your journey to find it, just be sure to remain vigilant on security – and know that we’re here for advice along the way.
Stay safe – stay secure.