If you are like the majority of Americans, 62% to be exact, you might have found yourself working from home this past year. And if you are like 42% of the working population this might be the first time you have ever worked from home. Hopefully you aren’t like 75% of the population who willingly admitted to ignoring their companies’ work from home security policy. It’s never been more important to secure remote work.
The correlation between the shift to remote work and cyber attacks has never been stronger. It appears that hackers have taken advantage of the confusion about computers and lack of IT support and have increased their onslaught of hacking attempts.
Companies and employees simply are not ready for this. They didn’t have a transition plan yet they still had project deadlines and customer requests so they had to choose productivity over security.
This meant that workers were using their own personal laptops and cellphones, accessing databases on unsecured WiFi networks, and conversing with coworkers over video conferencing platforms such as Zoom.
To be fair, there is no issue with using any of these things if the proper precautions are taken. However, in this situation there was no time for proper precautions. Personal devices were already compromised and left wide open for attacks, home WiFi networks were unsecured and lacked the necessary bandwidth, and conferencing platforms were left susceptible to unauthorized access.
There are solutions to these problems to fit the ongoing and widespread adoption of remote work. These solutions take time and money which is why they have yet to be widely used by many companies. Many companies believe that it is less expensive to retroactively pursue cyber attacks than to proactively install cyberware on employee devices.
This is beginning to change however, with 70% of security breaches are projected to go up in cost over the year. In order to protect against this there is one glaring solution: Multi-factor Authentication.
MFA is the practice of validating a password with one or two more authentication capabilities. MFA helps to stop and prevent over 95% of phishing attempts and over 75% of targeted attacks. It is one very secure solution to an onslaught of potential cyber attacks.
However, there are still holes and issues with MFA. MFA can not protect anything that is accessed with a public network and its common practice of using SMS one time activation codes allows for easy interception.
Companies need to be willing to invest in security if they want to win the war against hackers. Hackers can be incredibly smart but they are also easily outsmarted if companies are willing to fight them.
Whether they decide to employ an MFA solution or they look to cyber ware prevention software there are a plethora of solutions that can be combined to create an incredibly secure remote work environment. And with the continued prevalence of remote work calls upon companies to put in the work to secure their information in order to stop the onslaught of potential cyber attacks.