The coronavirus has to be one of the deadliest calamities to occur in the 21st century. It has infected over 49,035,150 people worldwide, resulting in over 1,239,665 deaths. As a result, governments around the world have issued lockdowns; forcing businesses to shut down and employees to work remotely.

While self-quarantine is, a great solution for tackling COVID-19, there has been an influx of cybercrimes and security issues, due to the increased reliance on the digital multiverse. Almost everyone is working at home, away from the stable and secure business IT networks, which is risky to say the least.

As such, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming more popular for leveraging security and anonymity in Canada and worldwide for remote working. However, the problem is that the increased usage of these tools has also resulted in cybercriminals exploiting them for vulnerabilities.

A report from the CISA has even revealed details about the escalating threats of VPN exploitation, which shows that they need an overhaul. In simple words, they are encouraging businesses worldwide to strengthen security protocols to stay protected from major risks.

  • Cybercriminals have increased their efforts in discovering and identifying new weaknesses and bugs for VPNs, which puts telecommuters and remote workers using VPNs at great danger.
  • Organizations are now deploying and requiring employees to utilize VPN services 24/7, which can make it a little difficult to regularly update security patches and fix bugs.
  • Businesses that are still learning how to adjust to remote working are not mandating employees to use multi-factor authentication (MFA), which could result in phishing raids.
  • Hackers have become more clever and creative when it comes to implementing phishing scams with some even using blackmail and extortion for tricking teleworkers.
  • Network-wide congestion is another serious problem with enterprises deploying VPNs, as depending on the provider, you may only have a limited number of multilogins.
  • VPNs that employ weak encryption and security protocols could leak the WebRTC/DNS/IP address of employees risking data and making them vulnerable to MITM attacks.

Organizations that have shifted to remote working and adopted VPN technology need to comprehend that any company’s security architecture has a single point of failure. If any cybercriminals succeeds in intercepting the technology, it can provide access to crucial data assets of employees/managers.

If you want to counter these security issues from VPNs, CISA has offered some advice and tips for increasing VPN security, as to stay completely safe and secure online. You can follow the instructions below to overhaul VPN security and move in the safer direction of remote working.

  • Businesses must keep their VPN tools and network infrastructure updated, regardless if you are using a company-issued or personal VPN for accessing enterprise resources remotely.
  • Regular updating of the VPN applications will guarantee that you receive protection from the latest bugs, viruses, malware, and ransomware, which can put your data at risk.
  • Inform all team members about the increasing number of cyberattacks during the covid-19 lockdowns and give them a set of SOPs to follow for safer internet practices.
  • Ensure that the cybersecurity departments in your enterprises are prepared for confronting remote access exploitation via log analysis, incident reporting, and breach detection.
  • Enterprises must mandate the deployment of multi-factor authentication for VPN services, as it can prevent anyone from unauthorized access to your business resources.
  • Make sure that you are thoroughly inspecting your corporate VPN service for restrictions regarding capacity; deploy bandwidth limiting when required.

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly, VPNs are vital tools for leveraging security, whether that be home-wide, personal, or enterprise-level. If you want to stay on the right track, conduct a thorough risk-analysis of the VPN you use and make sure to implement the abovementioned tips to eliminate any chances of exploitation!