COVID-19 has changed our working environment and has made organizations adopt the work-from-home system. Remote work has undoubtedly changed our working practices with increment in electronics devices, needs for virtual communication, cloud services, Virtual Private Networks and teleconferencing platforms to mention a view.
The addition of new technologies to businesses has made them more vulnerable to attacks. The statistics made available by Cyberspace shows that security breaches increased by 30% in post-pandemic.
This is expected. Most organizations only have efficient security measures in their organization before the pandemic. Unfortunately, they have to work remotely without proper security measures. Since it is evident that remote work is here to stay, businesses must find a way to design and work on the security framework that suits the new norms.
Attacks on Small Organizations
The general saying that the focus of attackers is on big organizations is a fallacy. This false information has made so many small businesses ignore security measures. Research made by Cyber Readiness Institute has shown that more than 40% of cyberattacks are focused on small businesses.
Attackers have the knowledge that large organizations pay attention to security and know the impact of attacks, unlike small businesses that have a false sense of security because of their status.
The Cyber Readiness Report should be a call to action for small businesses, so a security checklist is a must for them
The Security Checklist
The new norms will come with their challenges, most especially as businesses now integrate more Internet of things (IoT) devices. With the projection of cyberattacks in the coming days, companies must follow the essential tips below.
a. Employees Educations on Security
The primary focus of an attacker is to target the weakest link in every network. Unfortunately, the weakest link in every organization is the most important link, which are humans.
There is a need for organizations to give priority to train their staff on security. As published by Ipswitch, 75% of breaches were as a result of insider threat. Employees who have access to an organisation's information with unrestricted access pose a more significant danger to security than any other person.
Humans are most susceptible to cause mistakes than technology itself, so they must be well trained.
b. Make Use of Multi-Factor Authentication
Multiple verification methods provide more layers of security as it requires more than one way of authentication. This technique is important for business because the chance of the attacker getting access to your network is minimal. In a situation where an attacker compromises one of the authentication methods, the attacker wouldn't still access the network because there is/are more barrier(s).
c. Using VPNs
The major problem with sending and receiving data is not from the sender and the receiver most times. The reason is that there are humans at both ends to make corrections, but what of the medium where no human interaction exists? The medium in which information moves from sender to receiver is penetrable, and as such, businesses must not rely on such mediums in sending information. There is a need for organizations to secure the medium using applications like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
VPNs provide a way for information to be routed securely. Encryptions of all types of information must also be considered before sending to prevent an eavesdropping attack.
d. Routing Security Check
Performing security checks on the network's strength and safety upon which businesses of all levels are run is a sure way of maintaining such a company's integrity. The security check gives the business opportunity to know their strengths and weaknesses. Scheduling cybersecurity checks help to note lapses in security and possible solutions.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the digital revolution to businesses faster than expected. The moving of almost all businesses online has made cybercrime a lucrative business with a focus on unsuspected small scale businesses.
Small business owners must be security conscious in order for their businesses to grow.