TMCnet Feature
September 25, 2020

Working Remotely During a Pandemic Has Affected Cybersecurity

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented innumerable challenges for businesses and caused serious economic harm. But one of the less talked about impacts of Covid-19 has been on cybersecurity.

Working from Home

Our economy had been slowly moving towards a work from home model for some time before Covid-19. As communications technology has advanced, it has become easy to communicate remotely and exchange data with other people. Collaborating remotely used to be a significant challenge for businesses. Today, it is something that businesses regularly do without thinking about it.

Covid-19 massively accelerated the transition. It also pushed many businesses who previously had no interest in enabling remote working to introduce the necessary infrastructure within their businesses. Companies that had previously claimed that remote working wasn’t feasible have had to perform embarrassing climbdowns.

But while workers are mostly happy with the new arrangements, they have thrown up challenges for businesses. In the scramble to get their businesses ready for remote working, many companies have made poor decisions and failed to factor in cybersecurity considerations. These businesses are exposed to hackers and will make easy targets for opportunistic cybercriminals.

Early Challenges

From the moment that remote working became commonplace, businesses have had to invest in the necessary infrastructure to enable employees to connect with their networks and with one another. For businesses with the financial resources needed to invest in new laptops and other remote working’ equipment, making the necessary changes has been reasonably straightforward.

But the sudden influx of inexperienced people setting up their businesses for remote access has led to numerous security issues. Cybercriminals have noticed that there are serious holes in the cybersecurity many businesses have in place. In the interests of saving money, some companies have seriously undermined their own security and left themselves vulnerable to attack.

For example, some businesses, like cPanel Hosting, provide users with DDoS protection as standard, as well as a firewall. These basic security measures protect websites from numerous threats. However, many businesses have instead panicked and rushed out to purchase services and infrastructure without knowing what they are looking at. As a result, they are now riddled with security issues.

The Weak Link

As always, humans are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. No business can operate a work from home setup safely if their workers aren’t doing their bit. Workers who are not properly informed about cybersecurity are more likely to spread a virus or malware throughout your network. It is just as important to invest in training your workers properly as buying cybersecurity tools.

An uninformed or poorly trained workforce can represent a serious cybersecurity risk for the business they work for. Maintaining the security of a network requires every member of the network to do their part. All it takes is one person not doing their bit and your entire security system crumbles. Covid-19 has pushed numerous businesses online before they were ready, and these businesses are now vulnerable. If this applies to your business, cybersecurity should be a top concern.

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