The Pandemic’s Role Speeding Up Cybersecurity
By Matt Brennan
Speeding up cybersecurity efforts has been an initiative of many IT departments and technology professionals since the pandemic began.
Work from home initiatives were always going to be something that IT departments and security experts needed to figure out. But the pandemic led huge numbers of the workforce out the door of the building, and to their private home office. Many businesses are seeing benefits, but they are also forced to deal with the risk.
Businesses are tasked with the tall order of improving productivity from remote locations, while mitigating dangerous threats at the same time. According to a survey of 800 businesses conducted by Microsoft, providing secure remote access to resources, apps, and data was the number one challenge reported by security professionals. This necessitates speeding up cybersecurity efforts.
Cyberattacks During the Pandemic
Cybercriminals understand that when more employees work from home, they become a more attractive target. Below are some common cyberattacks that businesses need to be prepared for:
Phishing – Employees should be careful when it comes to opening emails from outside the organization, especially those that may be asking for money or some form of sensitive personal information.
Ransomware – A Covid-related subject line may appear on malicious ransomware emails. It’s important for organizations to prepare their employees for this reality, and to be ready by backing up essential data.
DDoS – More users trying to access services remotely at the same time, can open up more vulnerabilities for the system to be attacked. It’s important to be prepared.
Speeding up Cybersecurity Means Securing Employee Home Networks and Personal Devices
While no one was exactly ready for the pandemic and its resulting impacts on businesses in 2020, there are some measures that can be taken to improve security on employee’s home networks and personal devices. Speeding up cybersecurity measures will help to prevent any worst-case-scenarios that may emerge down the road.
Using a Virtual Private Network can add a layer of security. It may also help to make sure that employees have access to their device instruction manual so they can follow recommended manufacturer security measures.
The instruction manual may provide additional insight such as:
- Setting up two-factor authentication
- Enabling automatic updates for operating software, routers and modems
- Configuring security and firewall setup
- Establishing lock screens
Adjusting to the Times
As the pandemic rages on, companies will need to get used to operating under less than ideal circumstances. Adjustments will need to be made to maximize productivity, and the necessary security adjustments will surely follow. This of course means an organized effort in speeding up cybersecurity.
The types of integrated security measures listed above will need to be followed by all companies, small, medium and large. The work from home movement is no longer something that can be forestalled. The best thing that companies can do is to hire experienced cybersecurity and IT personnel that can help to institute solid planning measures that maximize that productivity while protecting corporate data at the same time.
Educating employees on how to make their work-from-home experience a safe one is a big part of these measures. Employees must understand the looming threats, and how to decrease the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack.