INFINITY IT Solutions

COVID-19: POTENTIALLY THE LARGEST EVER CYBER THREAT TO BUSINESSES

COVID-19: POTENTIALLY THE LARGEST EVER CYBER THREAT TO BUSINESSES

With millions working from home, its important businesses and employees understand security procedures and compliance are not void. Cybercrime is the fastest growing industry, with no signs of slowing down. There’s actually a much higher cyber security risk associated with remote working – mitigating this risk is absolutely essential right now.

So, how do we maintain adequate security? Our immediate recommendations are:

Staff Training 

Did you know that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error?

Firewalls included within domestic routers are generally sufficient for personal use but are not necessarily suitable for remote working – this is extremely problematic and the reason why we are seeing more businesses becoming the targets of hackers. To put it short, this is a hackers dream!

It has been reported that phishing emails have gone up over 400%, from 20,000 to in excess of 100,000 per day. It’s therefore vital that employees cyber safety training is kept up to date and they understand the severity and importance of the matter. A simple link clicked or attachment downloaded from an unknown source could result in your whole business being compromised.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Another layer of security to bear in mind is multifactor authentication. This is particularly good practice for sensitive information such as email credentials.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. MFA can combat attacks by adding an extra layer of security. For example a phishing attack may garner user credentials, but won’t provide the hacker with a fingerprint, or the answer to a personal security question.

MFA is easy to setup and is available on most business software including Microsoft Office 365. Feel free to get in touch if you need any assistance in setting this up.

Antivirus / Anti Malware Software

Simple steps to protect your business from malware damage include using antivirus software to protect all PC’s and laptops, regularly run patches for all software, control access to removeable media such as USB sticks and your users and educated to ensure nothing is downloaded from unknown sources.

An additional factor to consider is replacing devices, equipment and software that are no longer supported by manufacturers / vendors with up-to-date alternatives (e.g. Windows Server 2008).

Seek Advice

If you don’t already, partner with a reputable IT / Cyber Security company. There is no better time than the present to invest in your companies Cyber Safety. With the average cost of an attack being a whopping £65,000, this far outweighs the investment of having a good cyber security infrastructure and disaster recovery plan in place.

Business Continuity Planning

During March 2020, “business continuity plan” saw the most Google searches in its history, the peak was huge. This search peak proves just how much the pandemic had triggered panic amongst unprepared businesses. Updating your business continuity plan at any time is great, but being behind on this when there’s a global pandemic is not ideal. Does this ring true with your business?

Once you’ve actioned all of the above recommendations, our advice would be to revisit / update or even start your business continuity plan from scratch – particularly if this is an area that was highlighted as a weakness when the pandemic hit.

Please don’t think that you won’t be a target – 43% of cyber attacks happen with SME businesses. You can see a recent case study here, fortunately we recovered this business with a rapid response – not all businesses are this lucky and some never recover if they are unprepared.

Of course, there’s so much more to cyber security within your business than the above steps mentioned. These are steps are quick fixes and tools that should hopefully protect you whilst working from home.

Our job is to assist you and your business in minimising and preventing damage during such unplanned events, as well as supporting the day-to-day operations of your IT function. INFINITY provide all-encompassing products and services to allow for secure, efficient, productive and collaborative working within your business – from anywhere, at anytime. We’re here to advise and support you during this difficult time, please feel free to contact us for a friendly chat about your IT queries, challenges or requirements: hello@infinityit-solutions.com.

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