There is a proverbs that says “ idle hands are the devil’s playground”. With the current health situation gripping Malaysia, people are spending most of the time online in record levels. This has created a heaven for industrious cyber criminals wishing to take advantage of their unsuspecting victims.
In the vast expanse that is the internet, online predators and hackers contrive to predate on the steady supply of unsuspecting victims whom now throng the internet space for information and also leisure. this is particularly prevalent as the Malaysian government invoked a Movement Control Order (MCO) that highly restricted liberty movements around the country.
Numerous malicious scams and intrusions have been detected over the last month or two, attacking vulnerabilities and whole systems all over the world. In Malaysia alone, a total of 838 cyber security cases have been reported to Cyber Security Malaysia between the dates of March 18 and April 7.
The cyber-crime reports have increased in numbers up to 82.5% compared to the previous year. Most of the cases come under cyberbullying, fraud, or intrusion into unauthorized systems. There are also phishing and email scams claiming to contain COVID-19 content amongst these fraudulent cases, mirroring the uptick in email, SMS and other deceptive tactics that have been plaguing Australian web users.
Cyber intrusions such as data breaches and distributed denial of service attacks have been targeted at local businesses, accounting for 18% of the total cases at the time of the MCO period. Other reported cases involve individuals or targeting individuals in larger organizations to acquire illicit data or interfering and causing mischief within the company’s systems.
An incident that happened in Malaysia, the ‘Zoom Bombing’ where hackers gained access to private video conferencing chats and harassed participants. Regional reports have also emerged where intruders were disrupting virtual lessons in Singaporean schools.
As a precaution, the Taiwan Government has officially banned the usage of the popular video conferencing apps within organizations. Datuk Dr Amirudin Cybersecurity Malaysia Chief Executive officer stated that IT companies need to be more vigilant and proactive at this time in raising security flags to their employees, even including associations like Cybersecurity Malaysia and Malaysia Employers Federation(MEF).
Shamsuddin Bardan, the MEF executive director, said that the Malaysian companies must develope a higher level of awareness and brace for themselves for further cyber intrusions. He went further by giving assurance that his company was present and ready to help victims on any issue or trouble that may transpire.
As companies are now being more aware of the threat of cyber attacks, so does the need to to educate and support employees on their setup of home offices to face the threats of cyber security issues. This is particularly important when it comes to confidential company and client data.
Most companies whom are conducting their operations from homes, should be well aware that employees’ devices like Laptops, networking infrastructures are less secured when compared to working from offices. Still, there exist practical steps which will be taken to secure valuable data and to guard systems and understanding these steps would be in the best interest of these companies.
Most of the other countries boasting a sizable contingent of digital natives have some form of cyber policy agency and Malaysia is no different. CyberSecurity Malaysia regularly issues advisories and best of practice guidelines via Malaysia’s Computer Emergency Response.
Australian Cyber Security itself takes the step to aid in verifying suspicious emails, links and many more. Remote working readers in other countries would be recommended to take note of their local cyber security advisory committee’s for help and real-time security updates.