Cyber-criminals could be poised to trigger a wave of attacks on businesses when workers return to offices and reconnect to corporate networks, Redscan has warned. As many countries such as the UK prepare to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and allow more people to return to physical workplaces, the cybersecurity firm said organizations need to take action to defend themselves against potential hackers lying dormant on employee devices.
There has been a substantial rise in threat activity over recent months, with cyber-criminals looking to exploit the sudden rise in remote working during the pandemic and the resultant lack of protection. In this period, Redscan has observed a surge in activity such as malspam, external scanning attempts to identify weaknesses in the use of remote access tools and account login attempts from unknown locations.
It therefore believes there could be an influx of attacks when staff reconnect to company networks after returning to their workplaces, with attackers ready to launch attacks including ransomware across a company network. In order to prevent this situation occurring, Redscan said firms should sanitize all endpoints on the return to the office as well as closely monitor networks for evidence of compromises.
George Glass, head of threat intelligence at Redscan, said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a steady stream of organizations reporting cyber-attacks. However, this is only likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Many more organizations are certain to have been targeted without their knowledge.
“As employees return to work post-lockdown and connect directly to corporate networks, organizations need to be alert to the possibility that criminals could be lying dormant on employee devices, waiting for the opportunity to move laterally through a network, escalate privileges and deploy ransomware.”
Redscan provided other recommendations to companies to tackle this type of threat, including updating anti-virus signatures, connecting all devices to remote networks and educating staff about the latest risks.