The advancement of technology, particularly in light of Covid-19, has provided access to more platforms than ever before. The rise of remote connectivity has brought with it a wave of new and exciting possibilities for communication and collaboration, particularly for the remote workforce.
Despite the list of tangible benefits, these advancements have also opened the door to a growing number of cyber vulnerabilities. Cashing in on the pandemic, cyber criminals have used this time to seek out and exploit weaknesses in business security. New remote workers have provided a playground of unprotected networks and personnel devices, ripe for potential cyber-attacks.
Our infographic below highlights some of the key threats and security challenges that have faced businesses during 2021.
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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. It’s a month focused on educating and sharing the importance of keeping people, systems and data secure from cybercrime. In this article, we will look at how cyber security affects us all, now more than ever.
Who does cyber security affect?
The truth is cyber security is an international issue and we are all susceptible to the malicious tactics of cybercriminals. Earlier this year US president Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin held a Cyber Summit in Switzerland to discuss the increasing maliciousness of ransomware attacks. These attacks have risen in scale and complexity and are now considered a global threat. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you work, or what devices you use, cyber security is vital for everyone. Here are 5 reasons why.
More people now work from home
More companies are adopting a hybrid work model, giving their employees the flexibility to choose where they work. There’s been a huge ascension of Microsoft Teams as companies use this for colleagues to communicate, collaborate, and hold meetings. The number of people who use Microsoft Teams every day increased from 75 million in April 2020 to 145 million as of April 2021. This shows remote work isn’t going anywhere.
People no longer sit side by side using the same Wi-Fi connection in a traditional office space. When the work from home directive quickly became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were unprepared and allowed their employees to use personal devices to work.
Using a personal device outside of the office could mean employees are connecting to an open Wi-Fi that leaves the device open to hackers. Personal devices usually aren’t encrypted which leaves all data vulnerable to be spied on.
Hybrid and remote work can be safe and productive with adequate preparation and protection.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can massively help as well as dedicated work devices that no one else uses. A VPN secures your Wi-Fi connection by encrypting all your information so no one else can see your online activity. ITVET’s VPNs are designed with cyber security at their core. We use the industry-leading quality product of Cisco Firewall which monitors ingoing and outgoing internet traffic and automatically blocks any unsafe sites. We can provide all your hardware with a VPN to keep your team working productively and safely in a remote setting.
Another best practice is to always lock your laptop when you leave your seat, even if it’s just for two minutes.
The breaches are getting more expensive
A recent report by Cyber crime Magazine predicts that cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The breaches are unfortunately increasing in price year by year. Cyber crime breaches happen in different forms: theft of money, destruction of data, theft of personal or financial data, and more. What all these have in common is the huge reputational harm that can often be impossible to bounce back from. Cyber crime attacks can be enough to force a business to cease trading.
How to prevent an expensive attack?
Educating your team on cyber secure best practices provides you with stronger protection. It is recommended that you ensure your team is up-to-date with the most common ransomware scams. It is also important to schedule regular training which demonstrates the signs an email is unsafe such as hovering over the link inside the email and checking the sender email address.
Cybercrime attacks are increasing in impact
It’s devasting to read about the increasing impact of cybercrime. It’s no longer just financial loss as a result of cyber-attacks. On September 10th, 2020, German authorities reported a ransomware attack on a major hospital in Dusseldorf. The IT systems failed which resulted in the death of a woman who needed urgent admission and had to be taken to another city for treatment. This frightening event highlights the importance of precautionary measures for all businesses and organisations to keep sensitive data private and people safe.
How to keep your team protected?
Whilst cyber security training is vital, the best-case scenario would be for no employee to ever need to analyse each received email. Mistakes will always be made, so filtering emails before they land in your team’s inboxes prevent those mistakes. At ITVET, we protect your business from email phishing and viruses with Trend Micro Hosted Email Security. This stops threats and spam from landing in your inbox.
The commercialisation of cybercrime
Cybercrime is a competitive field. It operates like other industries with a sense of competitiveness, targeting what they consider to be the biggest challenges. This is why cybercrime is getting bigger and better.
A key example of this is the $50 million ransomware attack on Acer in March 2021. The Taiwanese electronics company experienced a huge data leak and the highest known ransomware attack to date. Acer’s confidential documents including financial spreadsheets and bank communications were exposed online.
How to know the security of your network
The security of your network is vital, which is why ITVET provide 24/7 network monitoring, as well as a daily penetration test of your network. This identifies vulnerabilities in your network which we will work to resolve and strengthen. Having a proactive awareness of the current security gives you options to eradicate any weaknesses and prevent cyber-attacks.
We have more IoT devices than ever
To understand how cybersecurity affects us, have a look around your home. Smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as Amazon’s Alexa’s, home security cameras, and fitness smartwatches are constantly collecting your data and communicating with the internet.
A casino was hacked through the smart IoT device of a fish tank thermometer. Through this one device, the hackers had full access to the casino’s network. Whilst IoT provides efficiency and entertainment to our homes and workplaces, it’s vital that both your IoT devices and network are protected. This is even more imperative where safety systems are involved and cybercrime attacks can have disastrous consequences. Examples of industries that use these specialist safety systems are aviation and rail travel. There is a specialist area of cyber security called Operational Technology (OT) which focuses on this area alone.
How does ITVET protect smart IoT devices?
ITVET’s smart buildings connect all your IoT devices to create intelligent buildings. For all our smart buildings, we separate the network with Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) into smaller parts. A LAN is essentially a group of connected computers within one geographical area, such as an office. A VLAN allows different computers and devices to be connected virtually to each other. For example, guests can access the internet on a different network to staff members. Separating a huge network into a smaller one ensures that if one component is hacked, the hacker does not gain access to the entire network. Using VLANs, only authorised users can access highly sensitive information to prevent it from being in the wrong hands.
At ITVET, cyber security is our priority. We wrap layers of cyber secure protection around all our services with top quality products that filter your email inbox and prevent anyone outside your team from accessing your network. Need some extra protection to keep your business safer from online threats? Reach out to us, our expert team are happy to help.
These five reasons highlight how cybersecurity affects us. Counteract threats by protecting yourself with cybercrime best practices and understanding how cyber security affects us all. Throughout Cyber Security Awareness Month, we will be posting advice, exclusive insight, and best practices for you to keep vigilant and keep protected. Why not follow our social media for the latest updates?