Warning over cyber-attacks for North-east businesses

A NEW security issue threatens to undermine the increased use of video-conferencing.

With thousands of people across the North-east currently being forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic the popularity of video conferencing applications has rapidly increased.

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Daily meetings are held using a number of different technologies with cloud-based Zoom proving very popular.

But with that comes some security risks and video conferencing technologies and their users have become the target of various cyber-attacks.

Businesses are being reminded to take all the appropriate steps needed to make sure they don’t fall victim to any uninvited guests.

This includes making sure there is a password required for entry to the conference, only send the link to join to staff, highlight the importance to employees about how critical it is not to share links and add meeting ‘waiting rooms’ to vet who is taking part.

One of the latest risks is described as meeting bombing.  This is when an uninvited guest joins in a video conferencing call either to listen in or to disrupt the meeting by sharing inappropriate images.

Aberdeen-based marketing and web design agency Azzurro Blu is one business that’s continuing to operate for its clients during lock-down.

Dave Simpson, technical director, believes “due diligence” is key to making sure businesses pick a safe option.

He said:  “You should always perform due diligence when choosing a video conferencing system.  There’s usually a trade-off between features and security so it can make sense to implement more than one depending on your needs.

“But whatever systems you choose, its vital that you configure them securely, preferably with the help of an expert, and educate yourself and your users about the risks.”

The popularity of Zoom is clear with latest figures showing usage went from 10 million users per day in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020.

However, cyber criminals, eager to exploit its popularity, have begun offering what looks like genuine copies of zoom to be downloaded and installed. It is only when you run the installer application that malicious software is installed along with the program. To avoid this make sure to only run the zoom installer from the official website.

Another thing to be on the lookout for is malicious links in chat.  Once attackers gain access to your meeting room they can trick you in to clicking on links which allows them to steal credentials.

For maximum security it is also advised a new link is sent with every new meeting request and it is never shared with any third parties on social media sites or forums.  Don’t ever reuse meeting links.

Dave added:  “There’s a lot of real privacy concerns around Zoom.  The important thing is to follow the advice and make sure security is as tight as possible.”

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