In the past year, organizations across all industries have made the rapid adjustment to supporting a remote workforce.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statista found that almost half of the American workforce had never had access to work-from-home benefits. Today, 44% of employees work remotely five days a week. As many offices begin to examine the trend as a permanent change and hybrid workplaces become increasingly more common, it’s critical that organizations closely assess their cybersecurity.
The Wall Street Journal explains that remote workers have become a prime target for hackers, as they’re exposed in a way that company networks typically aren’t. With the use of personal devices for business purposes on the rise, even the most experienced IT teams are becoming strained as they attempt to combat a wide array of new security vulnerabilities.
For organizations looking to make the permanent switch to a hybrid or completely remote work environment, creating and maintaining strong cybersecurity policies will prove essential in the coming months.
Threats to monitor
Forbes contributors outline three prominent security risks in a work-from-home world: residential Wi-Fi networks, phishing attacks and personal passwords.
Employees accessing organizations’ sensitive data at home open up businesses to a range of liabilities, including potential noncompliance to privacy regulations. Data Privacy Manager explains that most users lack security measures comparable to the ones that are in place in a corporate network environment, such as antivirus programs and firewalls. This makes them a significantly easier target for malware and other malicious attacks. Some employees may connect to even riskier public Wi-Fi networks, one of the most common entry points for data theft and unauthorized access.
According to a new study from Centrify, almost two-thirds (64%) of business decision makers also expect their company to face a rise in COVID-19 related phishing incidents in 2021. This form of attack occurs when malicious actors pose as a reputable internal source, oftentimes as a means of obtaining login information as a backdoor to gain access into an organization.
The third Annual Global Password Security Report, found that stolen and reused credentials were linked to 80% of hacking-related breaches across all organizations. For businesses, this means teams must take more action to improve passwords and regulate access to reduce potential risk.
The cost of cyberattacks
Each of these risks can create serious and costly damage for organizations. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, according to a new study from IBM and the Ponemon Institute. The report also found that it takes over 280 days to notice and contain a breach. Not only do these hacks cause downtime for users and require IT teams to allocate all available resources to identifying, isolating and rectifying the attack, but they expose any sensitive data your business is responsible for or is in possession of.
Rather than try to merely react to hacking incidents, organizations can successfully protect their employees and data by adopting a proactive, real-time approach to cybersecurity.
Employee education is the first step in creating an effective security policy. Contributors at Entrepreneur revealed that 90% of data breaches are caused by human errors, resulting in a need for continuous employee education on cybersecurity.
Provide your team with education about phishing, and reinforce a strong policy about sharing passwords and other credentials. Requiring users to update their login information regularly with new, complex passwords can help reduce risk and protect staff as well as any data in your network environment.
However, employees alone cannot be responsible for recognizing, reporting and eliminating a security threat.
Faronics offers all-encompassing endpoint management solutions to address any organization’s security needs. Our Anti-Virus system provides exceptional virus, spyware and rootkit detection, and also includes firewall protection for comprehensive, rock-solid security. Only approved programs are able to go through, and users can easily stop processes from trying to rename file extensions that are known to be set by attacks like ransomware, trojans and zero-day threats.
Our cutting-edge solutions mitigate threats and reduce risk. However, in the event of human error or a complex security attack, Faronics’ patented reboot-to-restore technology allows you to freeze your endpoints to the desired state and restore from unexpected changes with a simple reboot. Users can instantly restart their device to your IT team’s default configuration, removing any unwanted software or third-party changes.
Now more than ever, your network environment is at risk as employees access sensitive organizational data from home. Avoid costly downtimes and prevent malicious hackers getting in with Faronics wide array of security solutions.