February 24th, 2022 | Cyber Security
As COVID-19 pandemic spread over the globe, most businesses quickly transitioned to a remote workforce and a greater emphasis was laid on providing services to consumers through digital means. As a result, demand for digital capabilities, products, and services skyrocketed. Tech platform Techjury states that on average 30,000 websites were hacked per day, globally in 2021. It goes on to say that in 2020 alone the ransomware cases grew by 150%. That’s massive!
Anupam Joshi, Senior Manager, Cyber security services, Skillmine Technology Consulting says, “The reach of cyber security has increased tremendously after COVID-19 outbreak. The reasons are many. Connecting to the internet with untrusted sources and devices, unauthorized access, and identity access management are a few of them.”
According to Cyber security in the remote work era: A Global Risk Report by Ponemon Institute, the security posture of enterprises has been considerably harmed because of the remote workforce. The study cites lack of physical security in the remote worker’s workspace, increased chances of security exploits, lack of ability to respond to cyberattacks, and increased access to business-critical applications as some of the reasons.
How do businesses overcome these challenges?
Protecting the network: The protection of members’ financial data and other sensitive information is both a priority and a challenge. These issues are exacerbated when employees work from home and access business files and systems. As a result, businesses must implement new security policies. Employees may be well-versed in security best practices at work, but it’s not uncommon for them to be far more casual at home. Many typical consumer gadgets, such as smart TVs and baby monitors, can introduce a variety of security flaws, and children or spouses may unintentionally download malware onto the home network. Due to this reason, businesses should encourage employees to create a second Wi-Fi account for business use only.
Avoid hackers: Hackers are always ready to take advantage of a crisis, and we have already seen several breaches since the pandemic broke out. This is a common indicator of phishing attempts, which are scams in which hackers act as reputable firms or persons delivering a legitimate service to dupe consumers into disclosing important information. Organizations should urge staff to double-check all correspondence for language, punctuation, and formatting mistakes, as these are often indicators that something is wrong. It’s also a good idea to stay away from email links.
Due to the near-real-time nature of breaches, the only method to properly ensure security is by screening credentials against a live database of exposed username and password pairs. Businesses should assess existing authentication mechanisms as part of their remote working strategy and identify what, if anything, needs to be improved to support a more distributed workforce. Single sign-on, or SSO, is a must-have capability for all corporate services.
Eliminate insider threat: When it comes to exercising proper security hygiene, employees can accidentally be the organization’s worst enemy. For example, for the sake of convenience, it can be tempting to make copies of secret data, email them to personal accounts, or copy the information to a USB or other similar shortcut. Organizations should be aware of this trend and determine how to solve it. Collaboration with IT to add new resources or files to the intranet, or to create other digital services that make it easier for employees to conduct their jobs, might be a good idea.
While these are some of the most significant security concerns connected with a growing remote workforce, you can’t deny the many benefits the model brings. As remote working becomes more common, businesses may profit from higher productivity, improved communication, access to a larger talent pool, and unexpected cost savings. Businesses must ensure that they have the proper measures in place to secure sensitive data as more employees work remotely, with the impact of COVID-19 expected to continue.
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