LoughTec CEO, Seán McDermott, gives us his thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how people work, and why cybersecurity is now more important than ever.
One of the things that I don’t like about my trade is the number of acronyms that are used – they are almost like a secret code used in the IT community to make the non-believers even more confused.
For 25+ years, LoughTec has in one way or another been involved in WFH (working from home) solutions. We can give employees the desktop they see at work anywhere, anytime and on any device. We can do this securely. We as a company are now faced with huge demand for this service during and post COVID-19. Before the pandemic, this had been quite a steady, almost boring part of LoughTec’s service offering.
At the outset of COVID, we made the decision that our clients needed to take a secure and professional approach to remote access. It’s easy to open up ports on firewalls and to create unsecure, simple, quick fixes to get remote access up and running quickly. However, we knew this would really expose our clients to hacker style attacks. So it was either help them do remote access correctly and securely, or not at all. It was the correct decision for our customers and for LoughTec.
Let me explain why.
On the dark web, for $35 per month, you can hire the tools to undertake cybercrime. Using these tools, you can (in 60 seconds) scan over one million IP addresses. These tools allow you to launch a brute force attack on open ports looking for weak passwords, and once they are in, your system has been compromised. The pandemic has left many criminals seeking new ventures because lockdown has crippled them. Cybercrime now presents the perfect opportunity for them, both during this crisis and in the future.
During the lockdown, millions of staff worked from home and continue to do so. This has been a new experience for a lot of people. I was often asked whilst pitching remote access solutions, “Why would I want to work from home?” But now, and for the rest of our lives being able to work from home will be a must-have. As millions moved home, IT teams across the world opened up ports on routers to enable remote access.
- There are now more cybercriminals,
- There are now more potential victims than ever before,
- Making a magic formula that will deliver many sad stories in the months and years to come.
The old attitude “it will never happen to me” doesn’t cut the mustard any more. If you have a business and you need remote access to computer systems, then you as a business owner have a responsibility to do that securely and safely. The PC or laptop at home may have been used by a child to watch a YouTube video for example, meaning there may be something quite nasty sitting on that device, just waiting to connect to a corporate network and download its payload.
The rise of new criminals has made this much worse than it was previously. Many are inexperienced and whilst they can encrypt your data, there is a great chance that even after you pay a ransom, they won’t be able to decrypt your data. There are over one billion pieces of malware in existence today, and tomorrow that number will grow. Even the very best anti-virus tools only give you (at best) a 75% chance of detecting known threats. Keep in mind that unknown threats are released every day.
The moral of this story is simple;
- You need to get a remote access solution in place.
- That solution needs to be secure and safe.
- You will need this solution going forward from now.