Importance of Cybersecurity During Remote Work
Since the onset of digitalization and automation, cyber-attacks have become increasingly common. However, with the Coronavirus epidemic, companies’ digital presence is more vulnerable than ever. Businesses are depending on remote working technologies to continue business which exposes them to risks that attackers are ready to exploit. Thus, it is imperative for companies to find strategies to protect themselves.
Cyber-security is a way to protect systems/data (customer and financial information, manufacturing, product plans, etc.) against attacks. Japhet Kidiamboko , our IT Project Manager here at STRAMMER, added that it is also “the set of means allowing Availability Integrity Confidentiality Proof within an Information System.”
Nevertheless, cyber-attacks are now many and diverse. For example, ransom ware attacks, which according to Norton, consist of “Locking and encrypting a victim’s computer or device data, then demand a ransom to restore access”, or even illicit access to companies’ systems/technologies to obtain information, are a reality.
To protect themselves, organisations must admit that the risks are serious/real and can lead to extremely bad consequences. According to Japhet, the main risks are “financial losses, risks of leakage of personal data (of the company and its employees) and customer data.” In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cyber crimes will cost in 2021, 6 trillion dollars annually and that attacks on healthcare companies will quadruple from 2017 to 2020. In addition to the potential losses from the sanitary crisis we are facing today, businesses may be set back a significantly larger amount due to cybercrime, resulting in a devastating outcome.
These attacks can also damage the company’s reputation, as employees and customers will certainly not be satisfied with the exposure of their information and data. This can lead to lost business opportunities and profits. Although we may think that only large companies are attacked, studies show otherwise. According to a report conducted by Verizon in 2019, 43% of data breaches affected small businesses. Even if attacks are not always predictable, organisations can always protect themselves.
But how exactly can improving workplace cybersecurity during COVID-19 help businesses defend themselves from attacks? First, it is urgent to make regular risk assessments to understand where information/data is stored and who has access to it. Then, companies must find out about potential threats and design plans to respond to attacks. In addition, backing up data and investing in software/programmes that protect technological devices can be crucial.
Another strategy organisations can adopt to prevent cyber attacks is to educate the workforce about threats/risks and train them in digital literacy skills. Implementing policies on cyber-security issues is also important. For example, making it mandatory to communicate malicious messages or e-mails.
However, is it too late to take the measures with everybody working from home? The answer is no. Cyber security measures can be implemented through online methods as well, therefore businesses operating remotely can protect themselves from cyber-attacks during the Coronavirus Crisis without waiting to do it post-confinement.
Thus, if you’re thinking about implementing new technologies/programmes, never forget that security should be a priority to protect your company, employees, and customers. Governments, legislators and all other organisations should also make efforts to strengthen workplace cybersecurity during COVID-19 and improve cooperation on this issue. For instance, Japhet told us that in France, “the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information, provides organisations with tools and documentation to support them in implementing their ISS (Information Systems Security) strategy.”
Here at STRAMMER we are conscious that cyber security is very important. Therefore, Japhet works every day to protect our data but also yours by:
♦ Raising users’ awareness of cyber risks: awareness-raising email or e- learning training
♦ Implementing Technological surveillance e-requesting intrusion tests at least twice a year
♦ Fixing vulnerabilities as soon as they are detected.
♦ Reinforcing the internal/external security of the IS(Information System)
- Cyberattacks and Your Small Business: A Primer for Cybersecurity, August 2019, BUSINESS NEWS DAILY
- 5 ways business leaders can prepare for the future of cybersecurity, January 2020, WorldEconomic Forum
- 2019 Cybersecurity Almanac: 100 Facts, Figures, Predictions And Statistics, February 2019, CYBERCRIME MAGAZINE