The coronavirus crisis has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, and the way we work has experienced one of the most radical changes. While the whole world is working to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the great challenge faced by companies has been to move their employees to a remote work model at unprecedented speeds, while also ensuring that this transition was done safely.

A survey of 800 human resources executives worldwide carried out by Gartner reflects how widespread remote work now is. The research and advisory firm concludes that 88% of organizations have either encouraged or obliged their employees to work from home, regardless of whether they have symptoms related to COVID-19.

Statistics show that remote work has expanded ten times faster than other areas of the work force, and that the number of people telecommuting has increased 140% since 2005: Around the world, 52% of employees now work from home at least once a week. Despite this, however, remote work is still viewed with suspicion by many organizations. The large number of open connections to facilitate communications between employees has been a litmus test for the technical capacity that businesses have.

Before the pandemic less than 8% of the working population worked from home in some European countries. SMEs have had the most difficulty implementing remote work at short notice, since only 14% have digitization plans. The reason for this is that many companies still do not have the technical capacity to provide security guarantees for their employees when they are working from home. This is truer now than ever, since cybercriminals are falling over themselves to take advantage of the chaos many countries are experiencing, with new tactics and techniques to create cybersecurity problems.

At Panda, we want to help companies to protect and manage their users and devices, wherever they are, with the necessary tools to deal with the principal threats that have arisen because of the coronavirus crisis.

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  • Cyberattacks on the healthcare sector: Governments and local security forces have issued global warnings about attacks targeting healthcare personnel and institutions. Once such case is the ransomware Netwalker, which uses an attachment that supposedly contains information about the coronavirus to trick users into downloading it. In mid-March a cyberattack brought a hospital in the Czech Republic to a standstill. Researchers in the hospital were carrying out tests to try to stop the spread of the virus.

The best way to protect against these illegitimate actions is to adopt a zero-trust security posture. This is the approach used by Panda Adaptive Defense, the advanced cybersecurity solution that is able to monitor, classify, and categorize absolutely every active process (100%) on all computers on the corporate network. This means that if someone tries to perform any kind of action, we’ll know about it instantly. We also know where it is coming from, how it tried to execute, and what it aimed to do. What’s more, its response and remediation capabilities allow us to react even before it can cause any effects.

  • Bank Phishing: The experts at PandaLabs, Panda Security’s laboratory, have detected a spam campaign, in which the bad actors imitated the victim’s bank, using coronavirus as a lure to get them to open the messages. The aim of the campaign is to steal the victims’ bank details using a fake website, which looks like the bank’s online banking site.

Panda Fusion combines the best of both worlds: The remote device management and control of Panda Systems Management and the advanced security of Endpoint Protection Plus. This way, you’ll have the endpoint protection (EPP) you need, as well as the ability to remotely manage, monitor, and administrate devices from the Systems Management cloud. The head of security can thus monitor the company’s servers and receive alerts in the event of an incident such as a hard disk that is about to fail or hardware resources running low.

  • Vulnerabilities in B2B tools: 98% of attacks are facilitated by a known vulnerability. Between January 20 and March 11 this year, the group APT41 carried out targeted attacks on 75 companies across multiple sectors, including telecommunications, finance, industry, healthcare, public administration, and even defense. The group’s method is to exploit vulnerabilities in B2B technologies used by many companies, at a time when organizations are facing greater uncertainty and have to use these tools more often. Among the software vendors whose tools were exploited were Zisco, Zoho, and Citrix.

To help prioritize, manage, and deploy patches and updates, Panda clients have access to Panda Patch Management. This module of Panda Adaptive Defense doesn’t require any additional client deployments. It provides patches and updates, not just for operating systems, but also for hundreds of third-party applications.

  • Brute for attacks against RDP connections: To facilitate remote work, many companies use remote desktop connections. With these connections, employees can access their computer desktop from anywhere, meaning that they can work as if they were in the office. However, they also pose a serious security risk; hackers could gain control of administrator privileges, using the computer as if were their own. One of the most popular tools for making these connections is RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), a proprietary Microsoft protocol. Over the last few weeks, there has been a spike in brute force attacks against these connections.

At Panda Security we have a security solution with encryption capabilities that will prevent unauthorized users from accessing protected data. Combined with the cybersecurity solution Adaptive Defense, Panda Full Encryption helps to prevent and minimize exposure by encrypting data, reinforcing security to stop unauthorized access. Fully encrypt your disks to protect your information and ensure that data cannot be exposed in the case of exfiltration.

  • Malicious antivirus. Cybercriminals have been spotted providing fake antivirus programs to “help” users protect the devices they’re using to work from home against cyberattacks. However, if a user downloads one of these programs, it turns their device into a bot. The affected device can then be controlled by a system operated by the cybercriminal, who can sell or rent access to the device, as well as access the confidential information stored on the computer.

To deal with this, Panda Data Control discovers, audits, and monitors the personal and sensitive data stored on the computers and servers on the corporate network.

Now more than ever, organizations must reinforce their cybersecurity in order to protect the large quantity of confidential information that employees access and share every day while working from home. All the tools that you need to remotely manage your workforce can be found in Panda’s solutions for companies.

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