The Role Of Security Tech In The Fight Against COVID-19
With the world being thrown into disarray since the pandemic outbreak, a significant number of companies have become a victim of data breaches. Several top-flight companies witnessed the unauthorized access of unknown individuals into their vast consumer databases.
Microsoft was accused of leaving a database containing 280 million consumer records without any protection. While the US government and other organizations distributed relief funds, cyberattackers worked overtime to send out phishing emails.
Work From Home and Data Security
As mentioned above, cyberattacks were at an all-time high in 2020, with around 3950 confirmed data breaches taking place. This increase in data breaches also coincides with the advent of the “work-from-home” culture. Other hindrances include:
Almost all companies (54%) now conduct most of their operations online with the help of cloud providers. This shift from local area networks or LANs to cloud networks, a relatively new idea, is the primary reason for the increase in data breaches. Therefore, an employee’s security with secure LANs is not possible in the current work environment.
Vulnerable Home Networks
Although companies have invested in secure Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, employees still carry out their work on home networks like WiFi or mobile hotspots. The security of these networks is minimal. In addition to this, these networks that possess passwords are usually left unchanged for a long period. Therefore, it increases the chances of becoming hacked.
Cyber attackers are very capable of masking malware in the form of unsuspecting links or emails. This is a stark contrast to working at an office since the incoming emails and links were always monitored by an IT department. However, this is not possible when the employees are now working from remote locations. Due to this lack of monitoring, there is also a chance for IP addresses to be leaked or stolen.
Increase in Phishing Themes
At present, some reports state that COVID-related phishing themes are roping in a significant number of employees. The premise of these attacks involves convincing an individual that certain tax exemptions come with working from home.
The attacks have become much more organized and, therefore, more malicious. Due to this, companies are scrambling to implement data security in tech companies especially.
5 Steps to Enhance Data Security in Tech
Now that a few of the many vulnerabilities have been brought to mind, it is time to reinforce these areas. A company should look to carry out the following:
1. Securing Endpoints
Data security in tech should ensure that the devices on which employees are working are properly protected. In other words, there should be a solid endpoint protection policy for off-LAN activity. Therefore, companies should push for employees to use corporate devices in place of personal use for work-related matters.
If employees use personal devices, they should be tested to determine how much protection it possesses against malware. One possible way of securing endpoints is implementing the use of multi-factor authentication and other security measures.
2. Increasing Visibility through Monitoring
This involves implementing monitoring tools that would help to increase the visibility of employee interaction. In case there is a data breach, these tools could prove useful to detect them. A company must carry out internal monitoring and log management to increase the visibility of operations. Access to sensitive data should be available to a small group of people. This measure will limit the chances of data falling into the wrong hands, be it in the company or outside.
3. Evaluate the Security Supply Chain
There are chances that companies may rely on third-party enterprises to provide the necessary measures in data security tech. These services are passed down from vendors to companies through a secure supply chain, in this case. Therefore, a company in this situation should constantly review the activity of these vendors and ensure that they provide all the promised security services.
4. Spreading Awareness
The work-from-home situation has also led to a drastic shift in the mindset of all employees. Therefore, there is a high possibility that these employees are less vigilant to potential cyber-attacks. This complacency from individuals is one of the major reasons cybercriminals can fraud so many people.
Therefore, the company should make an active effort to ensure that its employees are aware of risks and security concerns. This especially applies to the employees that have access to sensitive data. These employees should receive proper training to prevent any mishaps.
5. Reinforcing Incident Response Protocols
Disaster control during data breaches is only successful with good management and proper protocols. Therefore, every company should revisit these protocols and ensure that they are still effective given the current risks.
There should be a proper review of all documentation and several tests run to see if the team can incapacitate any breaches when the time comes. If the protocol is not up to the mark, it may be time for the enterprise to revamp its data security policies or outsource a security provider.
The pandemic has been devastating in more than one aspect as employees are now expected to protect their health and their identity and sensitive data. To make matters worse, cyber attackers have only become better at masking themselves, causing further damage. Companies must implement proper security policies that ensure that no employee is vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks at such a crucial time.