Cyber warriors on NATO’s eastern edge are warning that the growing number of people working from home globally due to the pandemic is increasing vulnerability to cyber attacks.
The Baltic state of Estonia hosts two cyber facilities for the Western military alliance — set up following a series of cyber attacks from neighbour Russia more than a decade ago.
“Large scale use of remote work has attracted spies, thieves and thugs,” Jaak Tarien, head of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), told AFP in an interview.
The increased amount of information travelling between institutional servers and home networks is creating new challenges for employers.
“Tackling these new challenges is complicated and requires a lot of resources as well as a different kind of approach,” Tarien said.
“We are likely only scratching the surface in assessing the magnitude of malicious activities taking place in the Covid-era busy cyberspace.”
An EU-wide survey in September found that around a third of employees were working from home.
The concerns are echoed at NATO’s Cyber Range — a heavily-guarded facility protected by barbed wire in the centre of the capital Tallinn run by Estonian defence forces.
The server rooms inside serve as a platform for NATO cyber security exercises and training.
“Specialists have set up the work infrastructure, but they cannot control the way people use their home internet or how secure it is,” said Mihkel Tikk, head of the Estonian defence ministry’s cyber policy department.
Tikk said the