Improving Cyber Security Resistance After Covid-19

When the UK was forced into lockdown in March, businesses were forced to rapidly adapt and re-evaluate their Cyber Security. The whole nation went through a digital transformation, with businesses being thrown into remote working. Unmanaged devices, rushed remote access networks, and shadow IT left previously secure companies in an extremely vulnerable position. 

Cybercriminals capitalised on these newfound flaws, leading to an increase in attacks. Zscaler found that from January to the end of April this year, there was a 30,000% increase in phishing, malicious websites, and ransomware targeting remote users. 

 

Companies are continuing to learn and adapt to the ‘new normal’, with businesses beginning to realise the importance of cyber security. Many businesses view cyber security spending as an unwanted expense, instead of viewing it as an investment. This view must change if businesses are to move towards secure remote working, zero trust policies, and employee education. Whether businesses are back working in the office or not, cybersecurity demands attention, before it is too late. 

 

Education

The Coronavirus pandemic triggered rapid growth in remote working across the world. As more businesses were forced to move online, it soon became apparent that there was a critical need to educate employed on cyber security best practices.  This rushed transition has left businesses with a plethora of challenges to face, and it has left business leaders feeling insecure. 

 

Barracuda recently reported that 51% of business decision-makers agreed that their workforce is not properly trained in the cyber risks associated with long-term remote working. If businesses are to successfully work remotely long term, employee education must be prioritised. Companies will need to develop ongoing training programs to make sure that employees are well educated on how to identify phishing attacks, how to use VPNs, and the general importance of a positive security posture.

 

Zero Trust Policies

As we learn how to adapt to the new normal, we will see a growing number of companies adopting a zero-trust policy. By having a Zero trust approach, cybersecurity risks can be minimised. We will see wider use of multi-factor authentication, with a rise in the use of authenticator apps and one-time-passcodes. This approach provides more secure access, enhancing data protection, usability, and governance. 

 

By ensuring that staff members are fully educated in using these authentication technologies, companies will be able to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

 

Secure Remote Working Tech

When in the office environment, the majority of software and hardware used are approved by the business. When working remotely, however, this is often not the case, with many employees using shadow IT. 

A Messaging At Work Report found that the use of non-regulated consumer messaging apps is common in the workplace, with 50% of respondents indicating they use these apps for work communications. The report also found that employees are using these consumer-grade messaging apps to share a range of potentially sensitive business information, with 29% of respondents indicating they share documents and 25% saying they share contacts including personal details like phone numbers. This widespread use of unsecured messaging and conferencing apps has left many businesses vulnerable to significant security and compliance risks. 

 

Businesses will need to invest in corporate-grade collaboration software that enhances employee communication, collaboration, and productivity, without sacrificing security. 

 

Whilst we are all still adapting to working in the new normal, the numbers are clear. Investment in cybersecurity must be made if businesses wish to survive in this new environment. Even with the drastic rise in attacks, 40% of businesses have reduced their cyber security spending due to coronavirus. Spending lots of cash may not be on your company’s agenda right now, but a small investment in cybersecurity can give you peace of mind, knowing that your business is as secure as possible. 

 

If you want to discuss how you can improve your cyber security resistance, get in touch with us and email info@ruptura-infosec.com 

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