Cyber security concerns have increased as employees move to work from home, with video conferencing becoming a key new area of concern.

This is according to Bryan Baxter, corporate IT business development manager and IITPSA KZN chapter committee member, who was addressing the first online IITPSA KwaZulu-Natal AGM this month.

Amid a significant move to cloud and massive adoption of video conferencing tools, home-based employees were often not equipped to counter cyber threats, Baxter said.

“One issue is that we will end up using consumer tools for enterprise, and security at home is simply not sufficient for what business needs to do,” he said.

He noted that all applications could be vulnerable, as illustrated by problems that had been reported in using tools such as Zoom, which had seen user adoption soar to around 200 million daily users. “Zoom experienced huge adoption over a short space of time, in addition to challenges such as misconfiguration, uneducated users and cyber security flaws.”

With many organisations likely to continue fielding a remote workforce for some time to come, Baxter advised them to pay extra attention to the video conferencing tools they used for business, and to the security measures their employees had in place at home.

“When selecting a video conferencing solution, businesses must ensure that they are fit for purpose for enterprise use, assess the end user experience, and also look at the vendor – considering how quickly they respond and how much the business trusts them.  Businesses must look at factors such as cost, ease of use, integration, mobility, confidentiality, integrity, availability and also overall safety,” Baxter said.

“In addition to making informed decisions when selecting a vendor, businesses need to pay attention to strong passwords – use a password manager, reset passwords every three months, and use two-factor authentication,” he said.

Home workers should change the default admin passwords on their routers, enable WPA2 encryption, use strong passwords for their wireless networks, and be aware of all the devices on the home networks, ensuring that they too had strong passwords, were updated regularly and that their default configurations were changed, he said.


KZN Chapter Committee re-elected, new member added

The IITPSA KwaZulu-Natal Chapter Committee was unanimously re-elected, and a sixth member added, during the Chapter’s first-ever virtual AGM this week.

Re-elected were Chairman Marshall Masanga, and members Tiger Chapanduka, Senele Goba, Bryan Baxter and John Singh. Vishen Govender was duly elected and becomes the sixth member of the Chapter Committee.

Reporting back on the year’s activities, Masanga said that the Chapter had hosted several events, with the CIO Breakfast and Women in IT events among the most successful. In the year to come, the chapter hoped to stage similar events again and host more online events. There is also an increase in its focus on supporting local schools through donations of ICT equipment and possibly also through ICT mentoring and coaching for the communities. COVID-19 is speeding up the timeline of many digital transformations and therefore need for collaboration within the industry, academics and the general public.