TMCnet Feature
January 18, 2022

How Remote Work is Leading to More Data Breaches Than Ever



A recent market research report reveals that 70 percent of workers working remotely reported to have experienced a serious IT problem. Of this percent, 54% said they waited about 3 hours before the issues were rectified. 

Currently, more organizations have already created structures required for remote working. Since businesses cannot ensure network services from the company side in every worker’s home, they allow their workers to use their home networks and computers to connect to the business network. They experience technical challenges due to a lack of technical knowledge of IT, which makes data breaches threats more.



Lack of transparency in reporting breaches

2021 had the highest record of data breaches but most remote workers failed to report for action to be taken. Compared to other years, 2021 recorded the highest number of data breaches ever. According to research, the total number of data breaches in 2021 went up by 17 percent to stand at 1,291. 

The most affected sectors were the manufacturing and utility sector, followed by the health sector. About 100 million Android (News - Alert) users were exposed to data leaks due to configurations that were not done well in the cloud. This shows how serious major data breaches are on the rise due to remote work. 

Businesses should work with companies committed to helping them have the most secure systems for remote work. One of the companies is GPK Group, a company that is actively engaged in providing state-of-the-art technologies that promote productivity, security, and powering business intelligence. The company offers retail technologies, professional services, cloud technologies, and connectivity & security services. 

Unsecured/leaking databases

Businesses that store data in the cloud are likely to suffer breaches due to unsecured databases. To connect with workers located remotely across different regions, the IT department of the companies tries to configure security measures in their servers to allow access by remote workers. Once they are through with the configurations, they forget to close the loopholes and leave their databases with leaks. 

One such leak was discovered in August by a cybersecurity researcher. He noticed that his company data had leaked after he came across it online. By that time, over 106 million visitors’ files had leaked. They included sensitive information such as the full name of the visitor, gender, type of visa, arrival date, etc. He informed the authorities and the databases were secured. 

Ransomware and malware attacks

Ransomware blocks access to remote devices and the owners demand ransom to release the blockage. This mostly happens when the IT personnel relaxes, giving leeway for the attackers to strike. Malware can cause significant damage to company data but does not necessarily involve ransom. When company systems are connected remotely to give remote workers access, the IT department cannot closely monitor the system for attacks. 

This is what happened in the US on July 4 on Independence Day. REvil, a cybercrime group, knew IT personnel would not be at work on this day. They took advantage and hacked over 1000 companies in the US. The attacked companies went into a serious downtime, which heavily impacted their revenue. 

Moving company data to personal accounts

Recent surveys show that at least two or every five remote employees move company data from the company system to their email accounts. That translates to 39 percent of the workers involved in something that might not happen when they function from the office. 

The greatest danger is that most personal emails are not encrypted, which makes it easier for hackers to access the company system and hack data. 

Increased cybersecurity breaches

Remote work involves sharing data online from the company to workers and back. Remote workers connect through their mobile phones and computers. The remote computer has less proception on firewalls and IP addresses. 

Their emails, cloud storage, and attachments fail to pass security measures such as encryption and two-factor authentication. They install third-party applications that are vulnerable to attacks. This improves cybersecurity challenges which is a great security concern for businesses. security. 

 

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