‘We are delivering innovative security products that are easy to deploy and use’

Murali Urs, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India

In an interaction with CRN India, Murali Urs, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India, shares insights into the growing threat landscape in a remote working environment and how is Barracuda Network securing organisations

What is the enterprise security landscape like?
Amid the massive COVID 19 crisis, the cyber threats continue to rise within the enterprises. The current enterprise security landscape emphasizes on trends like email that will be the major threat vector. However, the email and phishing threats faced by the organizations today vary greatly in complexity, volume, and the impact they have on businesses and their employees. In 2019, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 467,000 cybercrime complaints that caused an estimated US$3.5 billion in losses.

Phishing will be responsible for 93 percent of email breaches as there has been an increase in a variety of phishing campaigns that are taking advantage of the heightened focus on COVID-19 to distribute malware, steal credentials, and scam users out of money. The main types of phishing attacks will be spamming, malware, brand impersonation, and business data exfiltration. Moreover, a report by Gartner states that till 2023, Business Email Compromise attacks will continue to double each year to over US$5 billion and lead to large financial losses for enterprises.

Why organisations must secure home working?
A majority of the cybercriminals have sensed an opportunity amid the pandemic, and launching a spate of attacks manipulating people’s fear and uncertainty. The virus outbreak has created several new factors for malicious attackers to exploit. They can target endpoints that might be less protected than the usual corporate desktops. Moreover, considering that the employees might be distracted at home, they are prone to click on unprotected links or open attachments they may otherwise have avoided. Phishing emails, using COVID-19 as a lure is designed to steal user credentials, or deliver malware. It will be responsible for 93 percent of email breaches.

Meanwhile, many of the network devices operating at home, such as a cable modem, have an interface that is exposed to the web. This means, compromising the home network might not be challenging for determined cybercriminals as these networks a much higher prevalence of management protocols enabled by default. The intensity of such threats make it is crucial for the companies working remotely to meticulously focus on the best security practices to protect their businesses, remote workers and customers.

How threat perception has changed in the last few weeks because of the Pandemic? What type of growth you are noticing in cyber-attacks?
Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we began observing a shift in the attack tactics deployed by cybercriminals. The switch to a completely remote working model in such a short space of time brought with it a myriad of security challenges for businesses, particularly with many employees using personal devices to exchange and share data. Even as people settled into the new way of working, there has been a massive surge in the quantity of email phishing attacks aimed at businesses. In a recent survey, Barracuda’s research found that 51 percent of business decision-makers agreed that their workforce is not proficient or properly trained in the cyber risks associated with long-term remote working. Additionally, 46 percent claimed they are not confident that their web applications are completely secure, and 50 percent have allowed employees to use personal email addresses and personal devices to conduct company work.

Earlier this year in March, our researchers also started noticing frequent use of fake Microsoft reCaptcha walls in phishing campaigns to block URL scanning services from accessing the actual content of phishing pages. Each campaign had more than 128,000 emails using this technique to obscure fake Microsoft login pages. The phishing emails contain an HTML attachment that redirects to a page with just a reCaptcha wall. Once the user solves the reCaptcha in this campaign, they are redirected to the actual phishing page, which spoofs the appearance of a common Microsoft login page. While this attack method is not new anymore, mal-actors can still succeed in deceiving the end-users into installing malware on their devices as this is a common format for legitimate reCaptchas as well.

What are the effective cybersecurity measures that one should take care to prevent security breaches?
While companies working remotely are focusing diligently on the productivity aspects of their workforce, it is also crucial for them to meticulously follow the best security measures to prevent any breaches. Business owners and IT administrators must ensure that every employee has a secure WiFi connection at home that is accessible only to trusted individuals. The employees/users must refrain from leaving their passwords visible. Urge them to consider using a password manager to keep track of login credentials and facilitate two-factor authentication for online accounts as and when possible.

Employees should have their devices updated with the latest OS and security patches. Organisations must allow their employees to connect their devices with the company-provided VPN to secure a distributed environment. Moreover, they should frequently remind them to stay vigilant while clicking links on their emails as often working remotely can lead to increased distractions and less attentive while coming across hyperlinks received via email, Slack, etc. Businesses should consider using a SaaS content filtering solution to protect remote users from malicious web content.

How is Barracuda Networks planning to check cyber-attacks?
During this global crisis, a lot can be at stake for companies that fail to take cybersecurity seriously. After all, cybercriminals are extremely innovative and adaptive. Clearly, the risks can never be eliminated but we at Barracuda Networks are delivering innovative security products that are easy to deploy and use to ensure best-in-class customer support. Barracuda provides protection and support for our customers at the right time.

For email protection, we offer Barracuda Total Email Protection that combines a complete email protection portfolio in a single bundle that is easy to buy, implement, and use, for comprehensive protection. It protects the users and their data from targeted spear-phishing attacks and account takeover with an AI engine that detects threats, which traditional email gateways cannot. Our automated incident response provides remediation options to quickly and efficiently address attacks.

Meanwhile, the Barracuda CloudGen Firewalls are the first line of defense for any business network to safeguard against advanced threats. It can ensure that remote workers have what they need to securely access corporate resources.

For creating security awareness, we have a computer-based training and simulation solution to educate employees about recognizing any potential threats and eliminating highly specialized spear-phishing attempts.


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