When the COVID-19 pandemic began resulting in stay-at-home orders, companies had to act quickly. They often had to shore up their IT infrastructures, embrace new solutions, and quickly create mechanisms that allowed their employees to work remotely. The gravity and suddenness of the situation left little room for planning.
However, now that it’s been several months, companies need to consider how those actions impacted their cybersecurity. While companies initially had to stomach some risks, telecommuting is now a foreseeable norm. As a result, they need to address any threats or vulnerabilities that currently exist due to those decisions.
If you are wondering how cybersecurity could change in the post-pandemic world, here’s what you need to know.
The Risks Created by Remote Workforces and How to Address Them
When employees are connecting to company systems remotely, there is an increase in the level of risk compared to accessing assets on-site. Without proper security measures, vulnerabilities can exist, potentially allowing hackers to access data or systems.
If working from home is going to remain part of the norm, companies need to focus on securing the connections. From user authentication to VPN, finding options for preventing unauthorized personnel from connecting is a must.
Additionally, companies need to examine the risks associated with certain collaboration tools and communication solutions, and potentially create formal policies governing their use and outlining what kind of information should or shouldn’t be shared using those approaches. For example, companies may want to limit certain types of file-sharing or discussing sensitive matters on specific platforms.
Further, employees are increasingly being targeted. Phishing campaigns, social engineering, and similar approaches occur more frequently, and many professionals aren’t adept at spotting a malicious message or another form of attack.
Companies need to address these risks directly, educating team members about the various kinds of attacks and the importance of not disclosing certain types of information. Additionally, employees need to know who they can ask if they have doubts about a message’s authenticity or what to do if they believe they may be victims of an attack. That way, they can reach out as soon as possible, and any potential damage can be mitigated with greater ease.
The Importance of Shifting Back to a Security-First Mindset
Initially, companies had to implement solutions quickly so their security may have ended up on the backburner. But continuing with that mindset isn’t a smart move, as it may not be long before someone takes advantage of the lax attitude.
Ultimately, companies have to return to a security-oriented mindset. While this may mean changing processes and incorporating new solutions once again, it’s crucial if remote work is going to be part of the norm on any scale moving forward.
If you’d like to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly skilled staff members today and see how our technical expertise can benefit you.