Covid-19: A Cybersecurity Opportunity

Businesses across the world are adapting to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the majority either implementing remote working or putting measures in place for reduced workforces to carry on in their place of work. However, with such a big change, comes an even bigger risk from hackers and cybercriminals alike, but does it also hit the reset button for cybersecurity and give it the much-needed attention it needs?

It tops the list for the most talked about topic in 2020 and it’s been on the front of every newspaper, news channel, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feed – we simply can’t escape it, but the main thing to point out here is that it’s not going anywhere fast. Yup, I’m talking about COVID-19, and yes, you read that right, it’s here to stay.

COVID-19 is now a part of our everyday lives, it’s become the ‘new normal’, whatever that is, but with or without a vaccination, we already have and will continue to adapt to the new way of living, but more so, adapt to the new way of working.

In a recent survey from the folk at (ISC)², they revealed that 96% of respondents’ organisations had closed their physical work environments and moved to remote work-from-home policies, highlighting how many businesses across the globe are adapting in these unprecedented times.

Having the ability to introduce work-from-home policies and enable remote working for staff isn’t anything new, but for many who’ll say they’ve done it for years with the simple idea of taking your laptop, monitors and phone home being suffice, are wrong, in fact, you’re the most vulnerable and are at serious risk from being attacked.

 


 

Risk, What Risk?

Picture this, you’re rushing about trying to juggle the kids’ breakfast and getting dressed when you realise you have minutes to spare before your weekly meeting with the boss. Frantically rushing about, you click on any link that gets you onto that meeting on time, however, that link you just clicked installed a piece of malware onto your machine without you even knowing – scary, right?

In the same survey, the (ISC)² also reported that 23% of respondents said cybersecurity incidents experienced by their organisation have increased since transitioning to remote work, with some tracking as many as double the number of incidents – not even worth thinking about the damage caused.

It’s no wonder we’re seeing malware and phishing attacks increase tenfold since the start of the pandemic, in fact, the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) has removed thousands upon thousands of scam sites since the beginning of the outbreak, all with the hope of deceiving the public out of their hard-earned cash.

But here’s the confusing bit, over 81% of respondents also said that security was an essential function at this time, yet we’re still seeing businesses fall to their knees because they’ve only talked about it and not acted on the matter, begging the question, can you afford to take the risk?

 


 

Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?

Whether you’re reading this an employer or an employee, equally, the answer is the same, it’s YOUR responsibility.

Your home devices are again, your responsibility, but when it comes to work computers, laptops and mobile devices, it’s the responsibility of the employer.

If you’re an employee with a work machine connected at home with no form of cybersecurity solution in place, stop what you’re doing and let your employer know the risks, even share this article, but if you’re the employer, listen up.

Think about the fundamentals of your business, what it is you do, what service you provide, and to who, think of all your assets, whether it be technology or data, think about what you’ve got to lose? As that’s exactly what you will, lose.

They’re all valuable and essential to the running of your business, and without them, what do you have? I’m not just talking about the financial loss from your GDPR-related fine or from a piece of technology becoming redundant, I’m talking about the reputational damage, ask yourself, would you survive?

Now you should be asking yourself, is that worth the risk?

The answer is NO. Absolutely NO. One hundred, million percent NO. So why are so many still choosing to ignore the responsibility? Is it a case of, “it’ll never happen to us”, “they’ll not target a little company in the North East like us”, well that’s where you’re wrong, you’re a hackers dream, the low hanging fruit, an “absolute belter” as they’d say on the streets of the region, but it is now your responsibility to change that and protect your business once and for all.

 


Clouds and Umbrellas. What?

I’m not talking about rainclouds nor the things to stop you getting wet, I’m talking about a cloud-based security solution called Umbrella from the clever folk at Cisco.

Cloud-delivered, Cisco Umbrella offers flexible security when and how you need it. It combines multiple security functions into one solution, so you can extend protection to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere. Umbrella is the easiest way to effectively protect your users everywhere in minutes.

In a nutshell, Cisco Umbrella protects your business and users from malware and phishing, a cloud-based firewall to stop threats as they happen – giving you the ultimate peace of mind for when you do get attacked, as it’s a matter of when not if.

As a Cisco Premier Partner, we can exclusively offer you a FREE no-obligation 14-day trial of Umbrella. No payment details needed, or strings attached, we simply want you to see how effective it is in the fight against cybercrime.

Start your FREE 14-day trial today.

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