What are the common cyber-attacks, and how do I avoid them in e- working space
We live in the digital world characterized by advancements of technology andglobalization,facilitated by the internet's connectivity. Technological progress has created many opportunities and changed the way people and businesses operate.
With technology, businesses can work with clients outside their immediate location through online systems.Online documents created by organizations can easily be accessed and signed by their clients from different regions.Better still, online signing has offered a natural extension of a new working environment. Also, it has created seamless contract signings and agreements.
Despite the benefits of e-signed documents in the e-working space, the connectivity has also offered several opportunities for cyber-criminals. Therefore, when organizations decide to do business online, they have to be vigilant andfind ways of protecting their data from attacks and threats or preventing cyber-attacks in e-signing their documents/contracts.
What is cyber-attack?
Cyber-attack in computer and computer networks is an attack launched from one or more computers against another computer or multiple computers.
In other words, a cyber-attack can be defined as the illegal act of gaining access from other computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or access to personal computing devices.
What are the goals for Cyber-attacks in e- working space
Cyber-attacks and threats can be broken down into major goals. The attacks where the goal is to disable a target computer or knock out a specific network system or attack to gain access to a target computer/network's information
Additionally, the cyber-attacks goal is to expose, destroy, alter, gain authorityover some networks or steal information.
What are the types of cyber-attacks and threats experienced in the e-working space?
For criminals to gain access or disable operations of other online businesses or organizations, they’ll have to deploy some technical methods. Namely;
This software performs malicious tasks like corrupting data or taking over a system of another company/business.Italso contains hacker designed viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and many more. They disrupt companies by destroying and encrypting their files or documents.
Phishing is an email-borne technique used by criminals to craft emails and trick the email recipient into taking harmful actions or disclose confidential information.
The recipient may be tricked to download malware sent as an essential document. Once the malware is downloaded, the criminals get access to everything they need from the system.
A ransomware attack is where a criminal encrypts the target system's data then demands a ransom to help restore their access to the data on payment.
In the payment process, criminals may be shown how to pay a fee to get the decryption key, which may give them more access to the target company accounts details.
d) Denial of service
A denial of service is a brutal force method where attackers or hackers renders an electronic workplace of a company inaccessible to its legitimate customers. They overwhelm the site with data and traffic until the site stops to work ultimately.
f) Man in the middle
A middle man attack is a technique used by criminals to interpose themselves in the middle of data flow and users. For instance, in an organization's typical workflow of information, data flows from users to users.
With the method where a man is in the middle, the data workflow gets interrupted, especially when a hacker gets in the middle. He will intercept the data being sent to his benefits.
g) Structuredquerylanguage injection (SQL)
In this technique, an attacker exploits a vulnerability and takes control of the victim's database. He will write SQL commands into any web form, ask questions for names, and address information.
Suppose a business or company website is not designed or correctly programmed. In that case, hackers may gain access to the database and execute their commands.
Other techniques that hackers may use to gain access to the e-working space include; Zero-days exploits and data breaches.
Threats experienced by online business as a result of Cyber-attacks in e- signing
When using digital signature technology and electrically sign documents, several challenges, attacks, or threats may be experienced by individuals. In most cases, you're bound to hear people complain of;
Court rejecting their contract yet they all signed it
With Cyber-attacks in e-signing, it’s common to find out people complaining of having created a contract with all the signs of all the parties involved. But there is a fall out in the court.
When it’s appropriately checked, you realize that the e-signing used had a fault. Someone had hacked into the details, and you find out you were not compliant with the law guiding electronic signatures.
Contract has changed or an information is missing
Most digital signing software use hashing technology. They make a 'hash' on any document's content, creating a unique fingerprint of that content.
However, not all electronic software use this technique. When software that does not use the hash method is deployed in data storage, it means someone can easily sneak in and alter or delete data.
The signatory is different
Sometimes originations may find out that the digital signatory isn't who they said they werebecause someone electronically signs a contract. The signatures use the digital certificate, which is the representation of the person/company.
Besides, someone else may use another person’s certificate without their consent. In that case, the signatories will be different.
The electronic signature is fake
Most online documents are at higher risks of fraud, mostly when signing software used is not build to secure the online document signing processes.And in some cases, hackers can use electronic signatures for the false signing of contracts.
Some documents are stolen or accessed by wrong people
With the internet, online working, and e-document signing has been made easier. However, it has also left a hole by theft by keeping documents on a server that can be accessed by other people.
Another crucial area of signing an online document is ensuring that the right person's signings are done; that person accesses the contract it is meant for.
Besides, there have been complaints of a man in the middle contract theft’. Information stored on the web can easily be stolen, more so when transferred over a web connection.
Howto avoid cyber-attacks in e- working space
To ensure cyber security and safety, make sure any signing software you deploy is per the various electronic signatures laws. And in case the software doesn't state its support legislations to the highlighted rules, then do not use it. Also, ensure you;
Use of secure software
In preventing Cyber-attacks in e-signing, a company or organization can decide to use software that uses the 'hash' technology. This would allow them to track anybody who accesses their data. Whenever someone sneaks in or makes changes to the document, the hash will change with it.
Companies can also use security apps like Approve me’ which have an audit system to ensure that any change is tracked. Help know when and what was changed.
Additionally, you can encrypt your documents as one way to protect them. This ensures that the document is safe as any attempt to open the data will be met with an unencrypted form.
Update your programs and software regularly
Updating certain upgrades will help you protect your documents against some known vulnerabilities and bugs. Ensure you keep your software and electronic devices up-to-date. It will help you avoid falling prey to hackers and criminals.
Use of stronger passwords
If there are different signatories, strong passwords can make it difficult to guess. Ensure you make a combination of other letters or symbols and change your password regularly.
Businesses can also avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts and ensure two-factorauthentication.Passwords provide the right authenticators only access to the documents. It checks and allows authenticationbefore allowing any access to the record.
In other words, build a password policy for your business to help you follow the best security practices. And to help prevent your documents from theft, among other security measures for your e-working place.
With the advancement in technology, organizations or business of e-working environment are forced to dynamically find ways to prevent the growing number of Cyber-attacks in e-signingtheir documents and contracts.
Hackers or cybercriminals can access business online documents by using different techniques like malware, ransomware, or being the 'man in the middle. Also, they can usecrypto-jacking, denial of service, and phishing, among other techniques.
To prevent hackers from getting access to e-businesses’ data, it’s better if the business/companies use a stronger password. Or build a password policy that is regularly changed to prevent unauthorized persons. Besides, they can also use security software that is often updated.