Aviva Zacks of Safety Detective caught up with Intego‘s Chief Security Analyst Josh Long and asked him some follow-up questions now that the COVID-19 pandemic is here.
Safety Detective: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way companies are handling their cybersecurity?
Josh Long: In light of a workforce that has had to shift to working from home, many companies have had to completely rethink the way they safeguard their data and other digital assets.
With so many employees working remotely, companies can no longer rely on solutions that only safeguard what’s happening within their local area networks and behind their firewalls. Home networks are generally much less protected from the dangers of the Internet. Thus it’s more important than ever for companies to consider adopting zero-trust networking technologies, with more advanced and context-sensitive authentication.
Regardless of whether employees are using company-issued devices at home or using their personal devices to do their work, companies are responsible for protecting their assets, especially sensitive customer data. Companies should ensure that employees are using reliable endpoint protection software, and in some cases, they may need to provide access to a corporate VPN and ensure that employees can only access sensitive resources through it.
SD: How are end-users changing the way they approach security on their home devices?
JL: As end-users have become accustomed to spending more time at home, naturally that also means they’ve been spending less time at public places like business offices and school campuses. Thus it has become less common to surf from behind the relative safety of corporate firewalls, or while using company-owned computing devices. Instead, people are spending a lot more time accessing the Internet from home using their own personal devices, and this should cause some self-examination.
We’ve observed a significant rise in the usage of VPN software in recent months, as people become more aware of the need for increased privacy while accessing the Internet from home.
Similarly, people are also thinking more about their device security, in part because some companies require their employees to use antivirus software while working at home from their personal computers. Some employees have never used antivirus software on their home computers—this is especially true of Mac users—and they have begun to realize that endpoint protection software plays a crucial role in protecting company (and personal) data.
It’s good that many people are taking security and privacy more seriously than they were a few months ago. We hope that’s a sign of an ongoing trend, and that end-users will continue to see the value in protecting themselves from malware, vulnerabilities, and other threats to their security and privacy.
SD: Has Intego’s focus changed now that there are more work-at-home and learn-at-home users?
JL: Intego’s goal has always been to offer the best possible protection for our customers, so we’re always evaluating how we can improve customer experiences. Now more than ever, with Mac malware and security threats increasing in quantity and frequency, we are continuing to expand and enhance our endpoint protection solutions.
Among other things, we’ve recently been focusing on enhancing our Mac antivirus software, VirusBarrier, to better detect Windows malware that may be lying dormant on Macs. This helps Mac users to be better netizens and avoid inadvertently passing on Windows malware to PC users. We have also been hard at work preparing for day-one compatibility with the next major version of macOS, Big Sur, coming later this year.
Last but not least, we recently launched Intego Antivirus for Windows. Intego has always been a Mac-focused company at heart, but we want to give our multiplatform customers the same great experience and peace of mind when they use Windows as when they use macOS. Moreover, we’re excited to be able to provide that same simple yet powerful solution to Windows-only users as well.