Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company, reported that cyberattacks on Southeast Asian remote worker (WFH) devices increased with remote work configured during pandemic. According to the company, attacks on Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) have increased by 149% in the region.
Recorded cyberattacks increased from 65,651,924 in 2019 to 214,054,408 in 2020, when most employees switched to WFH setups. The cyberattack declined in 2021 as it allowed employees to work in flexible settings that offered the option to work directly or online.
RDP is Microsoft’s exclusive protocol that allows users to connect to another computer over the network of the computer running Windows software. According to Kaspersky, it is also used by invaders to break into other computers where important corporate resources are usually stored.
Cybersecurity companies have said that misconfigured computers are also the foundation of vulnerability to cybercriminals. This is due to the rapid production of devices that will be available to employees during the first wave of the COVID-19 blockade.
“The experience during the pandemic has put forth a collective clamor all over the world to shift to a hybrid work setup. Sectors such as finance, information, management, and professional services have shown to benefit from working and collaborating remotely,” Yeo Siang Tiong, Southeast Asia general manager of Kaspersky, said in a statement.
In countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, attacks on RDP have been the highest since 2019. On the other hand, the Philippines saw a peak of attacks in 2020, with 6,979,713 attacks reported, an increase of 141.24%.
However, Tiong said increasing attacks on software are common in the region. He urged companies to take the necessary precautions to counter these RDP attacks.
“The hike in RDP attacks during this period is not unique to the SEA region. Globally, this type of threat rose 120% from 2019 to 2021. Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data,” he said.