Thursday, 23 December 2021 12:09

iTWireTV Interview: Aaron Bugal of Sophos talks cyber security implications of returning to the office, and more


Returning to the office is something many more people have done since lockdowns ended, but which devices are unpatched and unprotected from not being used for months? Cyber security has never been more important, with Aaron Bugal, Global Solutions Engineer at Sophos, telling us all we need to know.

As I write this a few days out from Christmas 2021, Australians and people around the world have endured multiple lockdowns and plenty of remote working, but even though we face the spectre of Omicron, hybrid work from the office, home and other remote working locations will continue throughout 2022 and beyond.

Getting back to the office is one thing, with a lot of computers and other office devices likely needing a raft of patches, updates and upgrades to regain security - and to stay secure.

Global cyber criminals have become incredibly emboldened over the course of the pandemic, staging ever more ransomware attacks via zero day vulnerabilities, lurking inside of networks for days or weeks, copying and exfiltrating a company’s important data, including IP, financial data, databases and more, before encrypting it all - including backups - with ransomware, and then threatening extortion if ransoms aren’t paid by leaking that data across the Internet.

The Log4J vulnerability has also emerged in the past couple of weeks, causing havoc for IT departments needing to patch many systems and software, with those hard-working folk working overtime to set things right before the Christmas holidays, lest they spend all that holiday time with systems, rather than spouses, siblings, children and family.

So, to learn more about the threats facing the inevitable return to the office, even if only on a part-time basis as the COVID chaos continues, and all those devices that need patching and more, Aaron Bugal, Global Solutions Engineer at Sophos, rejoined us at iTWireTV for a great video interview.

We also spoke with Sophos A/NZ MD, John Donovan, about the 2022 Sophos Threat Report, in another fascinating video interview which you can see here.

However, the interview with Aaron is embedded directly below, after which is a summary of the topics we spoke about, so please watch - and read on!

  • I started by introducing Aaron, welcoming him back to the program, and asked him what he has been up to for the past year since our interview in late 2020 as we discussed the then newly-released 2021 Sophos Threat Report.

  • Noting that COVID has kept us all on our toes, first with the Delta lockdowns from earlier this year, through to the new Omicron threat (which thankfully appears to be having only mild repercussions), we discussed the cybersecurity implications of returning to the office, particularly with people bringing devices back and the hybrid workplace many will operate in.

  • Aaron then explained the threats that have evolved over the past twelve months we need to know about, and which Sophos has had a hand in detecting and defeating.

  • I asked Aaron about being “passwordless,” and whether that was any closer to becoming a reality.

  • Aaron shared what Sophos is working on now, and what keeps him up at night as cybercriminals get ever sneakier and smarter.

  • We noted that I’d soon be speaking with Sophos A/NZ MD John Donovan about the 2022 Threat Report, so without stealing his thunder, was there anything else we needed to know about Sophos as we head into 2022?

  • Aaron then shared great advice learned over the last twelve months since we last spoke, and his final message for iTWire viewers and readers, and to his current and future customers and partners.

So, to learn more about cyber security as we head back to the office and do even more hybrid working than ever before, please watch the video interview above!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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