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With the ongoing pandemic, most organisations are reporting a shift towards employees working from home but with it also comes a host of new challenges as Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) reports a 33% rise in web threats in Malaysia in 2020.

For the uninitiated, Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) is a complex distributed infrastructure that combines cloud-based technologies into both personal and corporate Kaspersky solutions with cybersecurity related data streams from millions of voluntary participants from across the world.

According to KSN, Malaysia saw 36,650,942 threats in 2019 but saw an increase to 48,751,943 web threats in 2020 which is a substantial spike indeed as malicious actors seek to take advantage of the host of work from home executives working away from the safe harbour of a secured corporate network in the office and a vigilant IT security team. 

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Mr. Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

One thing that Malaysians would remember very well about 2020, other than COVID-19, was the shift of major tasks online, mostly inside the four corners of their homes. It is a common scenario to see working parents juggling between doing their jobs and assisting on their kids online classes. The stress of finding balance has understandably affected each of us emotionally and psychologically— which created the best scenario for cybercriminals who have clearly exploited the situation,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

We have seen several incidents of scams and social engineering tactics last year, which is aimed at tricking the human mind to steal money or information. Most of which used buzzwords related with COVID-19. Avoiding such requires a lot of calmness and vigilance, which is a tough one to have amidst the chaos that is the pandemic,” he adds.

Based on Kaspersky’s findings, there is a 20% growth in web-skimming where fake payment websites attempt to scam users into giving payment information with 17.7% of the total targeted at home users and the remainder to business users. 

In 2020, Kaspersky Security Network found that the top 5 web threats in Southeast Asia are:

  • Malware in web traffic is found during browsing scenarios – when user visits infected site or online advertisement performs unfair action 
  • Unintentional downloads of certain programs or files from the internet 
  • Downloading malicious attachments from online e-mail services 
  • Browser extensions activity 
  • Downloads of malicious components or communications, performed by other malware 

Kaspersky also offered the following 8 tips for employees working from home:

 

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8 Top Security Tips for Working from Home from Kaspersky Security Network

  • Ensure your employees have all they need to securely work from home and know who to contact if they face an IT or security issue.
  • Schedule basic security awareness training for your employees. This can be done online and cover essential practices, such as account and password management, email security, endpoint security and web browsing. 
  • Take key data protection measures including switching on password protection, encrypting work devices and ensuring data is backed up.
  • Ensure devices, software, applications and services are kept updated with the latest patches.
  • Install proven protection software, on all endpoints, including mobile devices, and switch on firewalls. Small and midrange enterprises can also opt to use a Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum to boost their defences against complex threats.
  • Ensure you have access to the latest threat intelligence to bolster your protection solution. For example, Kaspersky offers a free COVID-19-related threat data feed.
  • Double-check the protection available on mobile devices. It should enable anti-theft capabilities such as remote device location, locking and wiping of data, screen locking, passwords and biometric security features like Face ID or Touch ID, as well as enable application controls to ensure only approved applications are used by employees.
  • In addition to physical endpoints, it is important to protect cloud workloads and virtual desktop infrastructure.

For more on cybersecurity and to check out their diverse range of solutions for both home and corporate users, check out www.kaspersky.com.