Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the expression “home, sweet home” has gained a new meaning. That’s because for millions of people, staying at home is the new reality, with the entire world in just one place. As a result, we are learning a new way of working and relating to friends. Everything, almost always, thanks to streaming.
Streaming is a virtually real-time data transmission technology that gives us the ability to consume media files whenever and wherever we want. To simplify it further: this is the concept behind YouTube, its Music application and most of your audio and video calls transmitted via Web, including the videoconferences at work.
With the quarantine, we are all using services based on this platform, forgetting that streaming can generate important issues involving cyber security. While most tools are extremely reliable, data transmission over the Internet should be done with care, ensuring that all protection conditions are really adequate.
But why, after all, is this an even more relevant topic now? Basically for two reasons: the first is that advancing Home Office practices has made many people share their connections and devices for work and entertainment. The second reason is that, with the increase in streaming services consumption, it is to be expected that malicious threats and attacks will multiply rapidly.
For companies, this scenario means that sensitive information about their operations may be at serious risk. Imagine, for example, that your company’s employees are using the same device to access important business data and to make personal and professional video calls in an application riddled with security flaws. If the streaming application is hacked, it’s not hard to understand the problems the organization could have, is it?
As extreme as the above situation may seem, the fact is that app hacking is not the greatest threat to be considered. The big risks, in fact, is the theft of passwords through phishing practices and the contamination of devices by some kind of malicious agent, such as malware and ransomwares, which allow hijacking or rendering files unusable within networks.
According to national and international surveys, password theft from entertainment sites and the cloning of messaging applications are pointed out as two trends that are expected to grow in a frightening way throughout 2020 and in the coming years. Stolen passwords are sold in illegal markets, which is seen as a good deal among cybercriminals.
These threats need to be at the top of the priority list of IT and business leaders when it comes to streaming. Not just passwords, but mainly because pirated movie and music streaming apps can be a broad and comprehensive gateway to threats to virtual networks, including cloud data.
Mitigating these threats requires coordinated work, integrating communication, developing more assertive policies and using cutting-edge technology. One will need to show employees that even at home they should work to keep the data safe, adopting a skeptical and cautious approach to avoid contamination via phishing, which are nothing more than malicious and false links sent via email, social networks, WhatsApp etc. It is essential to institute policies that redouble one’s responsibilities.
We estimate that approximately 40% of Brazilian companies still do not have established cyber security policies or have not informed their employees of their existence. And it´s time to reverse this scenario. Therefore, we cannot waste any more time to select and use the appropriate protection technologies. Today, there are already several state-of-the-art solutions, capable of filtering and defining what each device can and cannot access – and to identify potential threats on the web. COVID-19 is accelerating discussions regarding digital protection and security, prompting several companies to use new protection systems, VPNs and modern firewalls to create secure environments also in connection with the structure and Wi-Fi networks installed in the homes of professionals.
Today, technology resources are great allies of mobility and information availability in companies, but one needs to adopt advanced protection solutions to extract the real advantages of digital transformation. Creating a specific policy and combining with content and access filtering solutions are essential and indispensable actions for the success of any organization that wants to stimulate remote work environments.
The market is demanding these innovations and it is time to seek proper solutions to modernize its initiatives. The real breakthrough is not to discover that video calls are options to increase productivity, even in times of crisis. The big innovation now is figuring out how to use streaming in a secure way. Whoever learns this quickly will be prepared for the current situation and also for the future.