Latin America and the Caribbean recorded some 7 1 billion cyberattack attempts in the first quarter

Personnel in remote work due to Covid-19, cyber attack victims. Photo: Courtesy.

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

An investigation by the global company Fortinet warns of the importance of strengthening cybersecurity given the marked increase in the use of social networks by attackers to spread advertising and deceptive websites, making victims share from their profiles, without knowing it, malicious links to your contacts.

In the first quarter of 2021 Latin America and the Caribbean have registered 7 1 billion cyberattack attempts, in the case of Panama they amounted to 232 million in the same period, according to Fortinet®️ (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global company offering integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions.

The increase in remote work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing use of social networks without a good protection system makes users more vulnerable.

According to the threat intelligence laboratory FortiGuard Labs, that collects and analyzes cybersecurity incidents in the world on a daily basis, from January to March there was an increase in the distribution of web-based malware, that is, a device is infected when the user downloads or installs malware from a malicious website that is then shared.

Image taken from screenshot.

This type of web phishing campaign has an automatic propagation method that uses the contacts of messaging services or social networks such as WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram of the victim, highlights the report.

According to Fortinet's senior engineering manager for Central America, Rodolfo Castro attackers use colorful ads to attract potential victims with prizes and contests, that way, when the user clicks, they are redirected to a page where malware that creates “pop-ups ”or ads with hidden malicious code.

Remote work and cybersecurity

On the other hand in 2020 despite the pandemic, Cybercriminals did not stop searching for remote work gaps to try to access corporate networks through employees working from home.

This trend continues in the first months of 2021 considering that since multiple remote code execution attempts were recorded to GPON and D-Link devices, which are used mostly to offer residential connectivity services.

Fortinet claims that this behavior confirms that attackers are looking for a way to compromise remote work users by intercepting their communications by redirecting them to malicious sites..

Hence, when organizations implement remote work at scale, cybercriminals seize the opportunity to exploit the many security vulnerabilities that emerge.

Faced with that panorama, Castro explained that security-based networks - a strategy where networking and security converge throughout the environment from the center of the network to the cloud, branch offices and remote workers- allow companies to have visibility and defend themselves.

Meanwhile, the FortiGuard Labs report from Fortinet once again shows that it is not only necessary to have a comprehensive cybersecurity platform, but also foster greater awareness of digital risks, above all because cybercriminals increasingly use more sophisticated tools, difficult to detect.