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Working From Home Could Expose You To Cyberattacks
2020 will go down in history for several reasons, one of them being the year that forced big and small businesses, organizations to work remotely. Now, in 2021 as well, the future of offices lies in the limbo of uncertainty. Everyone seems to have adopted the new norm, but there have been some aspects of remote working that could put many businesses at risk of cyberattacks.
While employees in the work-from-home situation stayed connected with teammates through video conferencing, messaging apps, shared documents rather than meeting in person, they might not be very vigilant about the risk of cyberattacks. Are you working remotely as well? Then this article is for you.
Cybercriminals Taking Maximum Advantage
Earlier this month, on US Independence Day, A group of hackers called REvil carried out a huge cyberattack. They were aware of the fact that many IT experts and cyber-security specialists would be off duty. The group managed to infiltrate over 1,000 firms in the US and 17 other countries.
As a result, many companies were forced to suffer a hefty downtime. Their hit list also included Kaseya, a well-known software provider. The hacker group used Kaseya as a medium to proliferate their ransomware.
The REvil group claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed to have encrypted over one million systems. They demanded a whopping sum of $70m in Bitcoin as ransom in return for a decryption tool that would help companies recover the data.
Now, cyber-security experts have warned that such cyberattacks are likely to be more frequent, and hinted that businesses shouldn't underestimate the grave consequences of the vulnerabilities caused by working remotely.
Taking Cybersecurity Practices Lightly
As per a survey from the security firm Tessian, 56% of senior IT technicians think their employees are not taking cybersecurity seriously while working from home. What's more worrying is that many employees agreed to the assessment.
Around 39% of employees admitted that their cybersecurity practices aren't as thorough as they were while working from the office. Half of these employees said that this is a result of the reduced scrutiny by IT experts now than before the pandemic hit.
One of the most common mistakes employees makes while working remotely is moving the company's data to their personal e-mail accounts. Since the data is on a personal account, it's unlikely to have two-factor authentication, which makes it easy for hackers to gain access to it. Once the firewall is breached and the data is extracted, hackers can demand hefty sums in return.
Besides, cybersecurity experts have also warned of growing coronavirus-themed phishing emails that target employees. Such incidents have been reported by many companies across the globe and are believed to only go upwards if the employees continue to take cybersecurity lightly.
How To Prevent Cyberattacks?
No one knows whether the pandemic has changed the office culture forever, but since it has taught us to be prepared for the worse, necessary steps need to be taken to curb potential vulnerabilities. Companies should urgently address such cyberattacks before they become more devastating.
In order to do so, firms should thoroughly check personal devices that have been used by employees while working remotely. An appropriate analysis of these devices should be performed to make sure they do not have any malware. Besides, training employees to perform frequent cybersecurity checks on their devices is would be very helpful.
Moreover, employees should be taught how to spot phishing emails, and organizations should be quick to invest in an integrated suite of cybersecurity solutions that can detect and prevent ransomware and other online threats.
As Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya believes, "comprehensive and frequent cybersecurity training can no longer be considered a ‘nice to have' for businesses-it's now absolutely crucial for organizations that are facing an ever-evolving array of cybersecurity threats in the current work-from-home environment."