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Proper Cyber Precautions in the Current Norm

Leslie Whitten

As more and more people work and socialize online during this bizarre time, hackers have ramped up their bad acts.  These black hats have even gone so far as to force a hospital to shut down its IT operations and postpone urgent surgical interventions.  Hackers will not exercise restraint because the world is in crisis.  We need to be as diligent as ever.

With people searching for connections in the midst of social distancing, Zoom, a video conferencing platform, has seen a 535% increase in daily traffic.  Unfortunately, Zoom, it seems, was never set up as a secure platform.  Even with alleged fixes after complaints that Zoom is not end to end encrypted, a computer science professor at Princeton actually referred to Zoom as malware.

This does not mean that people have to stop video conferencing, but it does mean that anyone discussing sensitive information needs to be smarter about it.  One way to do this would be for everyone using Zoom to access it through a VPN.  Another option would be to use a more secure platform for videoconferencing.  Last week The Verge suggested some alternatives to Zoom.  Many of the suggested platforms are free and don’t limit the time of the video conference.

As always, be diligent when sharing your own or someone else’s sensitive information online.  There’s no need to turn off your computer and phone and wear a tinfoil hat, unless that’s just your style.  However, be sure that you have taken reasonable precautions and follow your company’s cyber security procedures.  If you have questions about creating or executing cyber security polices, feel free to contact us.