Most IT departments have by this point trained their users on phishing emails, dodgy websites, and suspicious email attachments.
Unfortunately, there are several security and privacy threats that laptop users must deal with, and the list keeps becoming longer. The three threats that users might not be aware of are listed below, along with what IT can do to inform them.
The first unknown risk is laptop webcam eavesdropping.
Nowadays, the majority of laptops (and tablets) include built-in front-facing cameras for video chatting. Some people might not be aware that cameras can be used to spy on them.
Along with his agency’s legal battle with Apple, FBI Director James Comey recently attracted public attention for admitting that he covered the webcam on his personal laptop. Comey is trying to stop nefarious hackers from using his camera as a spyhole to watch him.
The Internet is flooded with camera videos of people who unknowingly clicked on a virus link and opened their computer to anonymous miscreants intent on mocking, blackmailing, or simply spying on them.
RATs are excellent for monitoring. In fact, some bloggers have noted that the FBI has employed malware of a similar nature to snoop on alleged criminals. Antivirus and other security tools may have trouble detecting some RATs. Additionally, they are frequently downloaded through user-requested software, like a game, or sent as an email attachment.
Key takeaways: IT should alert users about the webcam issue in addition to the usual precautions against fraudulent websites and email attachments. While a Band-Aid or piece of opaque tape hides the video, keep in mind that it does not affect guarding against audio eavesdropping during a video conversation. Encourage users to exclusively talk about sensitive information in video chat systems that include end-to-end encryption in order to avoid this.
The second little-known risk is outdated software and utilities
The majority of people are now aware that Microsoft no longer provides security updates for Windows XP.
Not only do software developers sometimes stop supporting outdated operating systems, but also programmes and utilities. When that occurs, nefarious persons might utilise software flaws to distribute malware and infections. Therefore, individuals who use the outdated programme do so at their own risk.
Key takeaways: When IT learns that a commonly used software programme or utility is no longer supported, it should suggest secure alternatives and urge users to remove the programme right away.
Unknown Risk Number Three: False USB Drives
According to recent research by Google, over half of persons who picked up a USB stick found in a parking lot connected the drive to their computers. The issue is that USB drives and sticks are infamous for hosting Trojan horses and other forms of malware.
Key takeaways: Although plugging in a USB drive can appear safe, users should exercise extra caution, especially if they’re unsure of the device’s origins.
Be advised that a new USB Type-C authentication specification was just released. 128-bit cryptographic signatures for authentication will be one of the improvements made to the USB spec, and they should help stop malicious software or hardware from distributing an attack via USB Type-C.