The speed at which businesses, large and small, adapted to what became known as the “new normal” must be applauded. If nothing else, the edict to “work from home if you can” has proved that many, perhaps more than expected, can do just that.
Of course, a new operating model means new operating processes. Similarly, new operating processes bring new risks.
Remote workers have demonstrated their ability to effectively collaborate, wherever they are based. However, the way in which they collaborate has changed, with file sharing moving beyond the traditional LAN environment. Email, web downloads and file sharing applications have become the media of choice.
The convenience of this freedom of work is counteracted by increased cybersecurity risks. The hackers and cyber-criminals of the world were among the quickest to adapt to the changing conditions, seizing on the opportunity to ramp up the scale and variety of attacks on remote workers. COVID-19 was not the only virus threatening global businesses.
Research by the EU agency for cybersecurity identified the top five threats in 2020. In descending order, they were malware, web-based attacks, phishing, web application attacks and spam. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their attacks, hiding malicious code within innocent looking office documents, PDFs and image files. Setting traps for unwary users.
Conventional anti-virus and anti-malware solutions rely on access to databases of “known” threats. Updated constantly, these solutions check against the list to provide content security – a process of catch-up. But what about unknown threats or zero-day attacks? How do you provide protection against those?
The solution lies in proactive, not reactive technology. Next generation anti-malware achieves proactive protection by deconstructing files and identifying illegitimate content – thus removing malicious code – unknown, zero-day and known attacks. The sanitized file is then rebuilt, retaining all the original file’s legitimate content and functionality. Importantly, this is all transparent to the user, with no latency in file delivery.
As the volume and nature of file exchanges increase, so does the threat landscape. Cyber-criminals, hackers and rogue states are exploiting more vulnerable remote workers and public network infrastructure for financial gain, malicious harm, account access or simple nuisance value. Playing a game of catch-up with traditional anti-malware solutions leaves businesses exposed to increasing threats and harm. It’s time to get ahead of the game.