It has been more than four months since the majority of businesses were tasked with switching to a fully remote workforce. In the span of weeks, companies made major investments in virtual desktops, video conferencing and collaboration tools, and cloud adoption to ensure employees had the tools available to complete their jobs from the safety of their own homes.
While many aspects of the post-pandemic world remain ambiguous, including when employees will return fully to offices, there is one technical aspect that remains inevitable: cyber threats and attacks.
Since COVID-19, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes. This includes phishing attempts, identity theft, hacking and other online scams. Also, by 2021, it is predicted that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually, up from $3 trillion in 2015.
With the rise of online attacks, there is a vital need for organizations to educate and invest in cybersecurity practices. Luckily, there are a few initial steps your organization can take now to prevent attacks while employees are working from home.
- Education: With the rise of remote work, employees are now relying on email communication more than ever, so the risk of attacks being more successful is higher. The best way to prevent employees from falling for a phishing scam involves education. Training your employees on how to spot a phishing attack based on some of the key indicators (improper email address or suspicious embedded links) proves to be a successful tactic in thwarting bad actors.
- Update Your Technology: While your employees should be updating their devices regularly, sometimes a nudge in the right direction is needed. Make sure everyone’s device, especially if they are using a personal laptop, is upgraded with the latest security patches and upgrades. Also, make sure two-factor authentication is enabled on all devices.
- Technology Investments: A single attack can cost thousands. An online attack can be crippling for any size business, but especially for small businesses. 60% of small businesses close within 6 months of a cyber attack. However, a little protection can go a long way. Investing in IT network security now can save money, prevent a data breach, and protect your company’s reputation.
As we embrace the new normal of a post-COVID-19 world, organizations and individuals need to keep cybersecurity at the forefront to protect themselves against the rising threat of cyber attacks.