In light of the current pandemic, McKinsey & Company has released a report underscoring the hurdles posed to corporations concerning security and the maintenance of operations. These difficulties stem from numerous factors, including the widespread adoption of work-from-home (WFH) policies and the inadequacy of secure connections, which present possible openings for cybercriminals to take advantage of.
Aside from technological risks, workers are exposed to additional forms of vulnerability. Anxiety, apprehension, and unease can compromise their resilience to online fraud and phishing. In the absence of fundamental cybersecurity coaching, like recognizing cautionary indicators in emails and other correspondence, this fragility is amplified even more.
As a result of the recent influx of workloads stemming from the pandemic and the need to supply protected technologies for remote working employees; IT assistance may not be easily accessible. Considering IT outsourcing services, like those offered by Works, could be among the possibilities for addressing this predicament. However, it should be noted that this is not the only alternative. This post will cover some of the most pressing cybersecurity concerns and provide suggestions on strengthening your business’s security.
Additional Possible Access Points
Numerous enterprises had already implemented safeguards to safeguard their networks from potential cyber-attacks before the pandemic. These measures included enveloping them in a digital fortified structure on their premises or imposing rigorous ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) practices. This degree of security is now compulsory for numerous devices, including those utilized by staff members who are operating remotely.
It is probable that workers are accessing their organization’s infrastructure remotely with laptops and other devices that have not been authorized. They might be linking to corporate networks via insecure means, like public Wi-Fi or an unsecured connection at home. This results in a feasible security hazard because wrongdoers may exploit these entry points to conduct their malevolent actions.
The video below addresses several of the issues that businesses encounter when enacting work-from-home (WFH) arrangements.
An Overdependence on Technology
The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on our lifestyles and occupations, with a substantial number of individuals now heavily reliant on the internet for their everyday lives and professions. The World Economic Forum stated that “Nearly instantaneously, the internet has become the conduit for efficacious human interaction and the primary means by which individuals work, communicate, and help each other.”
A network assault on a corporation could lead to the total halt of operations, while an assault on a commonly used platform or the fundamental internet infrastructure could create extensive disruption of activities such as ordering food online or attending virtual gatherings. Data breaches could have severe, or even deadly, outcomes for institutions that offer essential services, such as healthcare.
During a period of assault on governmental bodies and institutions, the distribution of crucial information, such as emergency updates and evacuation orders, may be obstructed.
Risks Posed by Developing Vulnerabilities
Given the crisis occurring right now, it is comprehensible that individuals may feel overwhelmed during this period and may make decisions based on their emotions rather than logical reasoning. The pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on many individuals, with vast numbers of people suffering from illness, unemployment, financial concerns, juggling work and child-rearing duties simultaneously, among other issues.
It is possible that logical reasoning may not always triumph when workers encounter fraudulent activities. For instance, an overtaxed parent overseeing their child’s online education at home might click on a link in an email from an unknown individual, which may permit harmful malware to infiltrate their computer and, hence, the enterprise’s network.
Cybercriminals are cognizant of the potential lapses in security measures and are actively trying to capitalize on these shortcomings by preying on victims with fraudulent content, such as deceitful COVID-19 treatments or pledges of instantaneous wealth.
Individuals who work from home and have not received adequate internet security training may be far more vulnerable to attacks.
IT Maintenance Will Decrease
With these potential concerns on the horizon, IT departments may come under significant strain. Some of the difficulties that these specialists may potentially encounter in their occupational responsibilities include, but are not limited to, telecommuting and coping with the same emotional strains as their coworkers in other departments.
There is a possibility that individuals who work from home may attempt to offer IT assistance for their organization, even if they lack technical training. This could either be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on the person’s skillset. Regrettably, in the most serious situations, erroneous hardware or software installation, or failure to follow fundamental cybersecurity protocols, can result in cyberattacks that may go undetected or unresolved on account of a deficiency in expertise.
Additional Safety Precautions Should Be Implemented
The positive aspect is that there are numerous steps you can take to alleviate these difficulties. Some proposals to stimulate your thought process:
- It is imperative that all personnel who work remotely are knowledgeable about the importance of cybersecurity, the possible aftermath of a cyberattack, and the actions they can take to prevent future ones. These measures comprise:
- It is crucial to have sturdy passwords, particularly for home routers.
- Regularly updating all installed programs and software for optimal security
- Taking preventative measures by refraining from clicking on links in emails from unfamiliar senders
- Before accepting “assistance” from anyone who purports to be a member of the organization’s IT group, verify with the actual IT personnel.
- Updates should be applied more frequently within the corporate network, specifically for essential systems like VPNs and cloud interfaces.
- Enhance security by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). Increase the regularity of identity verifications for new hires.
- Dedicate ample time and resources towards guaranteeing that all remote employees have access to up-to-date, approved software and hardware.
- Strengthening your network is critical if your organization provides an online platform, especially one that provides essential services.
- Ensure that your staff has a support system to turn to when they feel overburdened or require mental health aid. Learn more about incorporating mindfulness into project management in 5 steps.
- It is advisable to assess your emergency protocols to ascertain that comprehensive contingency plans are in position.