Cybersecurity Issues with Remote Work During Coronavirus
Working from home during quarantine helps slow the spread of the coronavirus, but remote work is a problem from the point of view of cybersecurity. Communication channels of employees working remotely have always been a favorite target of hackers. And with the mass transition to this work scheme, experts expect a surge in attacks on corporate networks via personal computers.
Are we now seeing The Future of Remote Work? We’ve tried to reflect on this topic and suggest whether remote work can replace office work.
According to specialists, the number of devices connecting to work networks via unsecured remote access has increased by 15%. And the home networks of employees removed from offices suffer from weak passwords and outdated software.
The transition of employees to remote work leads to a sharp increase in business risks in cybersecurity. As a result of malware on personal computers about 30% of company information systems are already hacked.
Attacking corporate networks through remote employees is already used by at least 14% of hackers attacking companies. The popularity of such attacks, even without any quarantine, has only grown in the past two years.
Read more about The Biggest Data Privacy Risks For Any Business in 2020 and do everything you can to protect the company’s data online.
But how can we increase cybersecurity issues during quarantine and further protect ourselves from hackers’ attacks? Let’s consider the topic in detail.
What is the biggest cybersecurity threat of remote work?
The pandemic of coronavirus has continued to claim victims for many months, and the longer it continues, the more it increases the relevance of remote workers. Thousands of workers now are working from home. It is convenient and effective in slowing the spreading of the infection. But, it carries several risks associated with information security.
In addition, hackers have noticed the new trend – according to some open sources, in recent times the number of hacker attacks on big corporations has increased several times over.
For years, organizations have built information security within a paradigm where employees work in an office – the perimeter of a controlled infrastructure. Some employees moved between the organization’s network and public and home networks due to the specifics of their work, but their share was relatively small. And due to small numbers, the remote working process was more controlled by IT and information security departments.
Now remote work connection become more popular and widespread. So, it is essential to provide secure work for all remote employees.
New conditions require a change in the principles of data protection for work from home. For this, it is important to extend a set of security tools for home workers.
The number of cyberattacks is staggering. You can find out more about this in the article Updated Cyber Crime Statistics for 2020.
What is cyber security risk?
If earlier an attacker had to order a powerful DDoS attack to disrupt corporate systems’ functioning, now an “extra” dozen VPN connections or corporate CRM users can paralyze the entire organization. When employees work from home, it can be difficult to fix this situation, since it is no longer possible to simply turn off the internet in the corporate network.
Didn’t know what a DDoS attack is? Read all the specific data about the DDoS attack and how to trace it in our blog.
There is the important task of access differentiation, network segmentation, and monitoring users’ and servers’ work in the network when you have a large percentage of remote connections. You need to limit the pool of IP addresses and the number and types of devices used.
The existing rules for access to business systems will have to be changed due to production needs, and the information security service will only have to agree on “emergency measures.”
Less secure in this case will be companies that have not previously provided monitoring of users and devices on the network, especially when accessing critical business systems.
When it is impossible to act according to clear approved regulations, intelligent behavioral systems come to the rescue. They detect fraud attempts and promptly notify the security service.
What are the types of cyber security?
In fact, remote work can be much more secure than office work. However, to do this you need to follow a few simple rules.
For real protection, corporations should implement two-factor authentication to get access to the company’s details. Such a measure helps to protect the data from outsiders. It works as the additional layer of lock that ask to add one more password to enter the system. No one can get open access to files and documents.
Utopia is a decentralized ecosystem that allows you to perform the necessary actions on the internet anonymously. It is built on a peer-to-peer architecture and does not use a single server for data storage. In other words, a separate server is created for each employee and only the employee has access to it. In Utopia, you can create corporate chats in the messenger to discuss current affairs and issues.
In addition, encrypted internal email is available for transmitting confidential information. All files will be stored in a special cryptographic container, accessed by the private key of each client. It is generated by Utopia individually for everyone, during their anonymous registration.
Utopia is a closed system that creates a representation of the internet within it. So, the created sites already exist in the public domain. However, each client of the ecosystem can also create and add new ones independently.
What is secure communication and how can you increase your privacy during chatting? Read our article and choose the best tools for that.
Check security policy compliance
If we are talking about corporate devices, our tools become somewhat broader. Unlike personal computers, they are always equipped with security features.
For this, you can try to use some compliance-checking tools like Check Point, Fortinet, Palo Alto. The working process is simple: when a user tries to connect via VPN, the agent performs checks on their workstation.
If you want to monitor working devices, their security issues, status, permissions, and so on, it would be best if you use some MDM (mobile device management) / EMM (enterprise mobility management) solutions like MobileIron.
It allows monitoring employees actions during working hours. It also helps to prevent hacker attacks. No one can copy the specific information if the used device is monitored by MDM/EMM.
Set antivirus programs
Due to the limited means of protecting users’ devices in the home and on public networks, antivirus protection is particularly important. Antivirus agents are probably already installed on working devices. But what about home devices of workers?
Therefore, the logical step is to install security tools that would allow you to supplement antivirus software functionality with additional mechanisms, such as protection against cryptographers or exploits.
The Checklist of Necessary Security Measures is waiting for you in our blog. Read right now and check whether you are doing everything right for internet protection.
Cybersecurity issues: General recommendations
Under these circumstances, it will also be quite important to carefully fine-tune firewall protection methods to hide essential data from outsiders. For instance, you can implement firewall policies for a specific period. In this way, you can limit the time frame when external access will be allowed.
Also, the general transition to “remote” is a great reason to start building and applying the Zero Trust model.
What is the Zero Trust model? Read about modern security methods to protect your online business.
My company was moved to remote work from the beginning of the pandemic. Now our large office works from home. And when we return to office work again, no one knows. Of course, it’s great that everyone cares so much about us, but you should know how many stories happened to my friends and me on the internet during this pandemic. Therefore, I decided to choose Utopia as the main email for transmitting data. Thanks!
Good afternoon, Helen! Thank you for your feedback. The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to reduce the number of social contacts and work from home. And the best way to protect yourself from cyber threats is to use Utopia P2P.
For some reason, no one in my company takes the pandemic seriously. That’s why half the office goes to work. And no changes are being made in terms of cybersecurity for those who work from home. So I have to take care of myself. Thank you for giving instructions on how to do this at least.
Good afternoon, Linda! Today, the world is divided into two parts: the first part is those who are serious about the pandemic, and the second part does not believe in the existence of coronavirus infection. However, both the first and second groups need to take the cybersecurity issues seriously, since no one can clearly deny the existence of internet threats.
What is cyber security risk for a small company? Can hackers be interested in a small company for profit? Or are large corporations most often attacked? I am the owner of a small company, and when we transferred employees to remote work, of course, we took all measures to protect our work. But will it save us?
Good afternoon, Paul! Thank you for your question. First, you did the right thing when you took care of the safety of your employees at remote work. Secondly, the risk of an attack increases if you have a large company, because the larger the scale, the more funding. However, small companies are also often subject to hacker attacks. It all depends on what the company does and its financial resources. Therefore, both large and small companies need to take measures for Internet security.
Hi! Thanks a lot for your cyber advice. Your blog is a real cybersecurity tutorial. Nowhere on the internet is there so much useful material. On your advice, I switched to Utopia. Now, I tell my friends why they need to do this too.
Hello, Arthur! Thank you for your feedback and support. Our team is happy to help all those who care about net security. We hope that soon all users will choose Utopia as the main tool for full and safe messaging, file transferring, surfing, etc.
I’m so tired of this remote work. I want our old life back. Why do we suffer because of one Chinese man who ate a bat? At home, I need to be as careful as possible when working with documents, because it is easier to hack one computer than an entire network.
Good afternoon, Alex! Unfortunately, you are right! Everybody is so tired of this COVID-19. But we can’t do anything but take some security measures. One of them is working from home. Another question is how to protect yourself and your data during this period. We hope that our tips will help you avoid a cyberattack.