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Potential for cyber crime when you return to the office

By Jessica Savage | August 4, 2020 at 5:25 PM EDT – Updated August 5 at 10:57 AM
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – The “new normal” is contributing to the rise of cyber crimes.

Experts are warning companies to be careful as workers return to the office. They could bring a virtual virus with them.

Cyber experts say malware and viruses can hide on personal computers. When an employee returns to the office and connects to that network, it could give hackers access to the entire system.

Many Americans are returning to an unfamiliar workplace. Businesses are requiring face coverings, taking temperatures and cutting down on face-to-face interactions. All precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Cyber crime experts say that’s not the only virus companies should be worried about.

“Eventually, everyone is going to have to come back to work right so when you do come back to work and they plug a device with a hook up to the corporate network, if you don’t have the right scanning process before you hook that backup to the network you just gave whoever had access to your device access to device’s potential,” Cyber Security Solutions Vice President Zach Hodges said.

Cyber Security Solutions is a business housed in the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, Ga. Where state, federal, private businesses and schools all work on the cyber security front. It’s the only one of its kind the nation.

Hodges’ company specializes in protecting customer data for businesses. He says all it takes is one employee working on an unsecured network to infect the entire office.

“A lot of these businesses didn’t have laptops laying around saying here take this home with you. Now you have people on their personal devices that may not have any anti-malware or anti-agents installed on their computer at all and they’re handling sensitive data,” Hodges said.

If a business is breached, it could end up costing tens-of-thousands of dollars in fees and fines. And many of these companies are required to pay for credit monitoring services for every one of their customers.

To prevent such a costly attack, Hodges suggests companies run a virus scan before allowing a device back on the corporate network. He also encourages businesses to hire a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to protect sensitive data.

“All these organizations are so surprised by how much vulnerabilities they have and then they’re also surprised that the fact that that that the organization providing services for them or that their internal staff hasn’t caught that I didn’t know,” Hodges said.

If you get a notice from a company saying your information was compromised, the first thing you should do is go directly to your credit reporting agency.

Identity thieves often open accounts using your personal information.

That can destroy your credit. Tell your credit agencies to be on high alert for any new accounts. And have them send alerts to you.

Think about freezing your child’s credit until they’re older. Identity thieves can take out loans in your child’s name and it usually goes undetected for years.

If you believe you have been the victim of an internet crime, you can file a complaint with the FBI.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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