Since the coronavirus arrived, in a short time, entire workforces transitioned from the office to their houses, straining the capacity of companies’ digital infrastructure and posing a major test of their cybersecurity readiness.
Till now, some enterprises are playing catch-up with the security risks created by the new normal of working from house. Weaker or no Wi-Fi passwords, laptops shared among different family members, a lack of security firewalls, and patchy use of VPNs, executing crucial business threats.
Taking the advantage of the pandemic
Cybercriminals have seized on the opportunity, stepping up their efforts to infiltrate company systems, prey on the vulnerable at the house, as well as obtain sensitive data. In a survey conducted by VMWare, 91% of worldwide respondents reported an increase in cyber-attacks since the pandemic started. Many denials of service attacks tripled in the 2nd quarter, as per a security report, as bad actors exploited the great vulnerability of home networks. Ransomware or malware attacks are on the rise, involving high-profile incidents at Garmin/Carnival Cruises.
It needs to be noted that some of the incidents aren’t reported and a ransom is frequently paid before business effects are realized. With remote work looking set to outlast the pandemic, businesses are being forced for changing the way they think about cybersecurity. Though the importance of cybersecurity is rising for years, it was treated by some companies as something of an after-thought that came to the fore when something bad occurred.
Now, companies or businesses in all sectors are treating cybersecurity as part of their DNA and as a very important building block of the ecosystems that connect them with their customers and 3rd-party partners. The posture alters from reactive to predictive. Threat monitoring is becoming an initial goal for some cyber-savvy organizations when it comes to reducing business risk.
Remote workers need backup
To be successful, these changes need great security awareness from top to bottom within organizations. Companies require to take responsibility to provide home-based workers with the resources, protocols, as well as security education they need. In easy terms, they need to be both expanding the pipes used by home workers and being proactive about ensuring those pipes are secure. Most of these responsibilities will be shared between employees, organizations, and service providers. But the initial responsibility will fall on the data owners.
Companies should be prepared to cover the price of the more bandwidth home-based workers requires for their jobs. On top of that, they should make sure that home workers have a secure network, a firewall, and are using a VPN when connecting to company systems. Having all those elements in place, and then making sure that workforces is well educated about the attacks they can be exposed to, will go longer toward decreasing security risks.
Strong security is a must
Companies have woken up to the requirement to have a robust business continuity plan after most were caught off guard by the sudden, unanticipated arrival of the COVID-19. Even some who’d have an emergency plan in place found it was inadequate, either because a pandemic was not one of the scenarios and because they had not tested the plan recently. A business continuity plan may start off as something simple, but it is not a plan if it is not tested regularly, every 90 days, under different scenarios.
The demand for collaborative platforms having built-in security has been increased from the time when lockdowns started. Companies are now realizing that they should have a back-up platform to give their employees various collaboration channels and to ease the network strains that are caused by remote working. The pandemic has accelerated the move to cloud-based platforms, which have eased security concerns by developing good methods to safeguard data. The shift to remote work from the house has raised the question of who’ll be on-site to maintain office-based data centers and applications. Companies can leverage the capability of cloud companies to support their business operations.
Use a full-service internet security suite
You should use a full-service internet security suite for your business security like Norton Security will give you real-time protection against malware involving ransomware and viruses.
Use strong passwords
Do not repeat your passwords on different sites, and alter your passwords regularly. Create them complex. That means using a combination of a minimum of 10 symbols, letters, and numbers. A password management application can help you for keeping your passwords locked down.
Keep your software updated
This’s important with your operating systems and internet security software. Cybercriminals use known exploits, and flaws, in your software to gain access to the system. Patching those flaws will make it less possible that you will be a cybercrime target.
Manage your social media settings
Keep your personal/private info locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals can get your personal details with data points, so the less you share publicly, the good. For example, if you post your pet’s name and reveal your maiden name of your mother, you can expose the answers to 2 common security questions.
Strengthen your home network
It is a better idea to start with a stronger encryption password and a virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices unless it arrives at its destination. If cybercriminals can hack your communication line, then they will not intercept anything but only encrypted data. It is a better idea to use a VPN whenever you a public Wi-Fi network, whether it is in a library, café, hotel, and airport.
Enable multi-factor authentication
In some situations, websites are needing users not to provide the strongest password but to type in a separate code from an app, text message, and email message when logging in. It’s a more step, and it isn’t unique, but multi-factor authentication makes it much hard for a hacker to break into your accounts. Whenever you have the option, enable multi-factor authentication, especially for critical log-ins like bank and credit card accounts. You can also get a physical-digital key that connects with your phone and computer as a more advanced level of protection.
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