COVID19 has dramatically changed the way we run our lives. From something as small as the way we wash our hands to having to consider if our travel is essential before leaving the house. Since the first outbreak in Australia, lockdown was looming, and majority of businesses had to develop a business continuity plan.
For most businesses, this was a big change. It also created the perfect environment for cybercriminals to surface. Deloitte Cyber Intelligence Centre noticed a spike in cyber-attacks, as cybercriminals were leveraging COVID19 to impersonate brands. Not only have individual attacks increased, but businesses are being targeted too. Cybercriminals are pushing businesses to download COVID19 applications, in turn putting malware on their systems.
There is no doubt that working from home, increases the risk of cyber-attacks. But why is that the case and how can you prevent this?
It’s employees, not technology, that is the most common entry point for cybercriminals. This doesn’t mean that your employees are internally hacking the company. This just means that as humans, we make mistakes. Things like trusting of fake identities, being tempted by clickbait, and being vulnerable to other sneaky tactics used by criminals. Unless your employees have been educated on the cybersecurity practices within your business, then this is likely to occur.
Especially whilst most people are working from home, you need to make sure your firm is safeguarded against attacks and knows how to identify them. Simply by implementing an onboarding process or sending internal company communications on what to avoid or report, will help you secure your business against cyber threats.
Protection against cyber attacks
Due to COVID19, many organisations have had to cut costs. This included removing operations that businesses deemed unnecessary. In many cases cyber security software was one of these unnecessary costs. This short-term plan might prove to be cost-efficient, however this will further increase the impact of cyber-attacks.
Additionally, the security or IT leaders are now needed to safeguard their companies on a large scale, and quickly. They are under immense pressure to not only keep protecting the business from cyber-attacks but now make sure each individual employee is protected and aren’t putting the company at risk. To decrease the threat of cyber attacks, each employee needs to have anti-virus software installed and updated. Additionally, with working from home, each network needs to be secure.
Nationally, companies have been downsizing to cope with the impact of COVID19, with over 10,000 jobs lost in Australia. With the growth in unemployment, there is an increase in cybercriminals as people with internet access who have lost their jobs may need to find other methods to make money. When you think of cyber criminals you automatically think of a virus being put on your computer that spies on your activity. However cyber attacks can be as simple as a previous employee using login credentials to access sensitive data.
All businesses should have proper exit plans in place. The Australian Government provide an example of an employee exit checklist which ensures you have covered everything after an employee exits the business. Some of the items include; collection of company IT equipment (phone and laptop), deletion of email addresses and the suggested change of all passwords. This is just that extra step you should take to secure your business.
Take this time of slower business to evaluate what you can do to further safeguard your business and rethink your cyber risk management measures. Every day there are new cyber-attacks, so we need to make sure we keep up with them and protect ourselves.