Are you aware of the new cyber risks posed to your organisation due to COVID-19? Once this pandemic draws to a close, things in the cyber world will not be the same, with new paradigms radically altering how we work and interact with others.
Remote Working Presents New Dangers
Whilst the service or business models for many organisations have not changed, the operational model certainly has. For nefarious cyber threat actors, this is seen as an unmissable opportunity.
An increase in hacks, phishing attempts and malware is inevitable, now that more and more people are spending additional time at home - particularly with this increasing reliance on hastily set up digital infrastructure and unsecured networks they have easier access to critical business and information systems.
The widespread adoption of work-from-home tools has drastically increased our dependence on the digital ecosystem. This has become a huge contributing factor to the increase in data hacking attempts.
The Health sector and the Financial Services sector are now two of the largest targets for cyber criminals. Paul C. Dwyer, President of the International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF), believes the financial sector will see bigger attacks worldwide in the next six to nine months. Which could potentially lead to a liquidity crisis.
How Has the Pandemic Changed the Security Landscape?
An upsurge in cyber-attacks has been documented during the pandemic. With a 660% increase in attacks since the first lockdowns in Australia, there's a high chance that crimes will only rise as these adjustments continue. The pandemic can already be considered cyber security's largest-ever threat.
According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, data breaches cost businesses an average of USD 3.86 million per incident. The report is based on 524 organisations globally that experienced data breaches.
An important factor to consider here is the human factor.
To quote Francis West, CEO at Security Everywhere, “You are infinitely more protected when sitting in an office, compared to when you are connected to the same wireless network as your kids or your partners who are unknowingly downloading dodgy stuff and infecting their machine. This spreads within minutes to all other machines".
Due to the pandemic, the inherent cyber-risk level has changed, which means that the risks of existing operational models have changed. Therefore, it is crucial for organisations to consider changing the controls they have in place to mitigate the force and magnitude of these incoming cyber-attacks, identifying any gaps with a cyber risk assessment. Increasing security post-pandemic is a must.
How Should Organisations Increase Cyber Security?
Adopting the measures below can go a long way to helping your organisation:
- It is crucial to get your basics right as well as implementing mandatory training for employees on securing their networks. It is rightly said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Taking the time to train your staff and instill the right behaviours can go a long way. Even if you have the best tools and your technology is all in place, if your staff are not trained well, your tech won't be used effectively.
- You must perform risk assessments on a regular basis. Adopting GRC tech solutions to monitor and mitigate your organisation’s risk is a highly crucial step.
- Your employees should use a Virtual Private Network - commonly known as a VPN - when gaining access to any corporate resources.
- Scale-up Multi-factor Authentication. IBM produced a report in 2018 that looked back at a decade of attacks. It showed that two-factor or multi-factor authentication and password managers alone would have prevented close to 80% of attacks that occurred over that period.
- Implement a Zero-Trust paradigm by providing access to data or applications only to authenticated users.
- Your organisation must develop an incident response plan and must keep it updated to address changing threats and industry technological developments.
- Always review your supply chain partners and your third-party service providers.
You can also leverage the 6clicks platform to protect your organisation from cyber attacks. Book a demo with our team below to understand how.