Video Conferencing Apps new playground for Cyberattacks: Al Awadhi



Information Technology expert Mr. Yaqoob Al Awadhi, warned that the expansion of using video communication apps such as “Zoom” and others after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic demands boosting levels of cybersecurity by users, stressing the significance of this trend at a time when online leaks have manifested a chronic problem and raises more concerns among Officials, power holders, companies, and businessmen.

“We must not overlook the WikiLeaks site, which published millions of sensitive documents and was a source of acute embarrassment for many politicians and governments around the world. Today everyone needs a secure platform through which they can talk online without having to worry about cyberattacks. Many sensitive institutions around the world are currently working to build a video conferencing platforms and acquiring their servers to improve security and privacy standards.” Al Awadhi said.

He stressed the importance that companies and institutions acquire reliable and approved video communication apps, not to download free online apps. Al Awadhi revealed that there is an increasing surge of cyberattacks that utilizes the vulnerability of these free apps to spy or steal data and information, and the most threatening aspect is that some cybercriminals broadcast materials that provoke hatred or pornographic materials like what happened recently in a private school in Bahrain.

“Some of the procedures that are recommended for secure use of video communication apps such as Zoom and others is to choose the option of private meetings and take advantage of the waiting room feature to restrict who joins the meeting, and send the conference links to specific people via direct messages instead of publishing those links in front of everyone in social media and other sites.” He added.

Al Awadhi, CEO of “NGN International,” a full-fledged systems integrator and IT consultant headquartered in Bahrain, pointed out that the increasing dependency on the internet in public life, work, and studies has enticed cybers criminals to launch cyberattacks to embezzle money, data, and information or threaten and causing harm, and he said, “In the past, we warned of pirate attacks on major corporates like financial institutions, giant energy companies, and others, but today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health sector including hospitals, research centers, and pharmaceutical companies, has become the new target for cybercriminals, as they aim to steal the data of patients and the human  test subjects for vaccine trials, so now the health and medical sector facilities must double their cybersecurity systems.” Al Awadhi explained.

He concluded his statement by saying: “Due to this new situation and the increasing demand for cybersecurity, “NGN” has increased its efforts to provide cybersecurity services to all governmental and private institutions in cooperation with several prestigious international companies in this field, such as Kaspersky. This is, in addition, to launch NGN “Security Operation Center” (SOC) for cybersecurity in cooperation with the international Group-IB, which follows an approach of proactive surveillance, detection, monitoring, and prevention of any cyberattacks and eliminating them.”