The COVID-19 has disrupted businesses at a large scale, and companies all across the globe are working with fully remote workforces. A new report found that the sudden switch to work-from-home resulted in quick and even hasty deployment of cloud services in some cases. This led to overlooking various things in the security configuration, leaving companies susceptible to threats and attacks.
Cybersecurity Ventures reports that by the year 2021, cybercrime damages could cost $6 trillion annually. Since a large majority of employees are now working remotely, business networks are now vulnerable to numerous unsafe networks. Given the challenges of remote work, employers have to pay attention to security and ensure that employees are ready to deal with any issues. Also, this calls for revamping of the security infrastructure and ascertain that your security practices are up to date for efficient security of corporate and personal data.
What should you know about security weaknesses and remote working?
According to Team Cymru and Arctic Security, in the U.S., computer systems at more than 50,000 companies were infected before the orders for work-from-home came in. Although companies were focusing on VPN attacks and other forms of data breaches due to their prevalence in the last couple of years.
Researchers found that the systems that were infected previously were activated as the corporate firewalls have ceased to block them now. Furthermore, between January and the end of March, the number of organizations that were attacked or comprised quadrupled across Europe, in the U.S. and Finland.
Experts are of the view that this indicates a failure of the internal security processes and tools in the organizations. Also, most are not adept or equipped to deal with mobile workforces. A senior analyst at Arctic Security, Lari Huttunen, reported that according to their research, the employees’ computers were already compromised before COVID-19 became known, but were dormant behind firewalls that blocked their ability to do anything on behalf of the threat actors. And now, they have established their connection with their corporate networks VIA VPNs, which are not adept at preventing malicious communications.
The same research also found that large companies have not managed to solve or prevent infrastructure weaknesses and vulnerabilities, responsible for data breaches previously. This research has provided insight into this cyber pandemic, allowing organizations to analyze and think about the extent of compromise within their organizations.
The only way to identify whether the company has been hacked is to take a close look at the internet threat traffic coming from the outside in the company. How can organizations boost their cybersecurity, prevent cyberattacks, and keep their employees from becoming victims of hackers?
Let’s take a look:
Finding the Entryway of Hackers
The first thing we need to determine is how the hackers are getting in? Due to remote working, hackers now have multiple ways to enter the organization. First of all, the organization needs to keep a sharp check on that. The main concern is authorization and authentication. Last year we witnessed the most number of data breaches on record that led to exposed personal data, login credentials, and other data.
Apart from these, phishing attacks have become a norm at workplace computers. The workers are bombarded with a flood of emails now. Attempts of such attacks and damaging fake domains have jumped significantly as hackers attempt to impersonate co-workers and steal information and credentials.
These two are the main security concerns that emphasize the importance of employee awareness and vigilance. For this, organizations should ensure that the passwords are randomly generated and are unique so that hackers find them difficult to crack. Multi-factor authentication has become a need of the hour. This would keep hackers from carrying out cyberattacks on smartphones, computers, and home wireless networks, where a lot of sensitive data is stored.
Preventing cyberattacks and crimes
When we speak of the increasing security vulnerabilities, the main concerns every business has are the financial and reputational consequences of the breach. What is the best way to stay one step ahead?
When a business collects data and customer information, it must ensure that its security measures and infrastructure is updated and can ascertain the security of the information. It is only possible through access to critical resources, via remote support for field workers, SaaS provided services and a sound security system. This is going to be a challenge for businesses that have not yet switched to remote-enabled architecture.
It also includes a company culture that focuses on security awareness. Whatever changes are brought in the security measures should be transparent, and conveyed to the staff. To prevent gaps in security, coordination between departments is also necessary. Employees should be up to date and stay sharp to spot any suspicious activity as they can be the weakest link in the security chain of the company.
Employee monitoring to ensure compliance with security goals
Organizations should make it clear and assure that the employees are an incomplete understanding of the company’s security goals and guidelines. Employers should invest in security training and awareness programs so that employees can become cyber smart. This goes a long way in keeping the organization safe from malware and viruses.
Did you know that employee negligence is the main reason behind more than two out of three insider threat incidents? Normally, companies are at threat at the hands of corporate espionage, but according to insider threats, most of them occur due to employee negligence. To ensure that employees are adhering to rules and are not going wayward, companies should invest in smart monitoring tools like Xnspy – an employee monitoring tool designed for smartphones. It has become a trend to provide phones to employees for work. Employees can misuse these devices, use them to waste work hours and spend time on social media or online shopping, or communicating with rivals.
To make sure that employees are not involved in unethical or suspicious activity, using Xnspy could come in handy. The app comes with a wide range of features that can help you stay sharp about what the employees are doing. It monitors text messages, calls logs, emails, multimedia, social media chats, locations, web browsing history, and a lot more. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. You can set alerts on particular words and locations and get informed of any relevant activity. This allows you to take the necessary measures if any employee tries to access sensitive data, he is not authorized to access or enter an off-limits area. The app can also help you catch a mole in the office if any. This could save you a bunch in monitoring.
You can keep an eye on the employees during the work hours and ensure that they are working and ensure productivity. Since the app allows you to access emails, you can also get to know about who the employees are corresponding with. And even intervene if you believe they might be getting scammed or become a victim of social engineering. With insider threats rising drastically, employers have to keep a watchful eye on the employees, and apps like Xnspy could be of great help in ensuring that employees are adhering to company rules and policies. All in all, investing in employee monitoring apps could translate to great results, especially with remote working.
Efficient Remote Work Performance
Surely creating a solid security infrastructure is no easy feat as hackers keep getting better and continue to find ways to infiltrate the system. But it is need of the hour. Businesses have to take extra measures to protect data and handle the remote workforce weaknesses. Using a password manager should be a compulsion.
Employers should ensure a cyber smart behavior, both at the workplace and at home. Although maintaining the security of business data should always be a priority. The increase in remote working makes it inevitable.
With the data issues rising, the industry is also facing a shortage of finding skilled cybersecurity professionals. Both small and large businesses are at risk making it all the more necessary to take the right measures and make oneself equipped to deal with cyber attacks and hackers.