COVID-19 and WFH (Work from home) – the perfect storm?

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Editor’s brief: With the dark cloud of the COVID-19 crisis, many nations are locking down and having residents work and stay at home, except for essential services, many people have to contend with remote access technologies. Even kids have to skip school and learn with home based learning (HBL). While some countries are earlier in the curve of lockdowns and have gained experience for people to work and live remotely, some countries are slowly only introducing lockdowns. What are the challenges that confront both enterprises large and small, and their employees that must now be away from offices and cubicles, but pore through a laptop, tablet or mobile phone with home broadband connections? The vendor’s news release is found below.

Increase in Remote Working and Coronavirus Related Threats Creating Perfect Storm of Security Challenges for Organisations, New Survey Finds

Check Point Software & Dimensional Research’s survey shows 71% of IT and security professionals globally report an increase in security threats and attacks since the Coronavirus outbreak started, as criminals seek to exploit the remote working explosion

SINGAPORE, @mcgallen, #microwireinfo, April 8, 2020 – Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, has today announced findings from a new survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, examining the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on enterprise security. The findings show that the rapid changes to enterprise working practices, and broader concerns about the pandemic, are both being exploited by cybercriminals as they step up their attacks, generating a raft of new challenges for security professionals.

Key findings from the survey of 411 IT and security professionals globally are:

  • Coronavirus related attacks ramp up – 71% of security professionals reported an increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak. The leading threat cited was phishing attempts (cited by 55% or respondents), followed by malicious websites claiming to offer information or advice about the pandemic (32%), followed by increases in malware (28%) and ransomware (19%).
  • Challenges of managing remote working increase – 95% of respondents said they are facing added IT security challenges due to the spread of the Coronavirus. The three leading challenges were provision of secure remote access for employees (cited by 56%), the need for remote access scalable solutions (55%) and employees working from home were using shadow IT solutions – untested software, tools and services (47%).
  • Security concerns over the coming months – 61% of respondents were concerned about the security risks of having to make rapid changes to enable remote working, and 55% felt that remote access security needed improving. 49% are concerned about the need to scale-up endpoint security.

“Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the Coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations. This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organisations, which is compromising their security postures,” said Rafi Kretchmer, Head of Product Marketing at Check Point.

“To ensure security and business continuity in this rapidly evolving situation, organisations need to protect themselves with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture. This means ensuring accessible and reliable connections between corporate networks and remote devices 24/7, promoting collaboration and productivity between teams, networks and offices, and deploying robust protection against advanced threats and cybercrime techniques at all points on the enterprise network fabric.”

The survey results reinforce Check Point’s recent findings that Coronavirus-related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered since January 2020, and indeed the average number of new domains registered in the three weeks from the end of February was almost 10 times more than the average number found in previous weeks. Similarly, Check Point’s researchers have uncovered several ‘Coronavirus specials’ advertised by hackers on the dark web, with ‘Covid-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ being used as discount codes for sales of out-of-the-box malware.

Check Point has a full range of security solutions that ensure best-in-class connectivity and security for remote working, allowing workforces to remain as productive as possible. These include Check Point’s Remote Access VPN Software, Endpoint Threat Prevention, Mobile Security and Mobile Secure Workspace all aim to take a practical approach towards securing remote workers.  Check Point’s SandBlast Agent delivers complete endpoint threat prevention against zero-day attacks delivering a 100% block rate even for unknown threats with zero false positives.

The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research, with 411 respondents from organizations of 500+ employees globally.

For full details of Check Point’s solutions for securing remote workforces, visit  https://www.checkpoint.com/solutions/secure-remote-workforce-during-coronavirus/

About Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (www.checkpoint.com) is a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally.  Check Point’s solutions protect customers from 5th generation cyber-attacks with an industry leading catch rate of malware, ransomware and advanced targeted threats. Check Point offers a multilevel security architecture, “Infinity Total Protection with Gen V advanced threat prevention”, this combined product architecture defends an enterprise’s cloud, network and mobile devices. Check Point provides the most comprehensive and intuitive one point of control security management system. Check Point protects over 100,000 organisations of all sizes.

Follow Check Point via:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/checkpointsw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/checkpointsoftware
Blog: http://blog.checkpoint.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CPGlobal
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/check-point-software-technologies

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