Cybersecurity Risks Among Remote Workers in the Face of COVID-19
It’s no surprise that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing significant disruptions to business operations across the globe. Many organizations are urging, even requiring employees to work from home, which is a dramatic shift in the day-to-day operations for those that are typically desk-bound.
Unfortunately, as with most crisis scenarios, there are always bad actors ready to exploit the situation for any number of nefarious reasons. This virus is no exception. Businesses must expand their contingency plans and decisions to ensure cyber risks are mitigated as much as possible during these uncertain times.
Fraud and scams prey on fear
The constant news coverage of the outbreak has struck fear in the hearts of many. Cybercriminals have responded to the panic with phishing scams with malicious links and PDF claiming to contain information on COVID-19. In fact, Wired and Trustwave have both reported on these scams at length.
If you aren’t already, establish a Secure Email Gateway for remote workers to help prevent these types of scams from getting to employee inboxes. Employers should also encourage employees to be mindful of email content and senders they don’t know.
Increased Virtual Private Networks (VPN) traffic means increased exposure
VPNs help remote workers access the company’s network while working outside of the physical office. By redirecting the employee’s internet connection via a remote VPN service provider, the server becomes a secure transfer page for encrypted data while masking the IP address of the employee. The challenge is this – the more people working remotely, the larger the pool of potential exploitation targets.
Work with your VPN provider to determine specific needs for system upgrades, patches, or software updates. Additionally, make sure employees that will be working remotely are clear on the protocol for accessing company information to keep all connections secure and protected from cybercriminals.
As your leadership teams and employees work through this new remote working environment, be sure to educate your employees on the importance of maintaining secure connections. With more reliance on home wireless networks, mobile devices, and mobile hotspots, employees could inadvertently expose the organization’s network and data to cybercriminals. Not sure what risks you may be facing? LanYap Networks is happy to talk you through it. Just give us a call.