Rush to bolster cybersecurity

Companies of all sizes and in all sectors have been forced to adapt to a remote work environment overnight, regardless of whether they were ready or not. As this fast-moving shift to virtual business occurred, cybercriminals also adjusted their strategy to take advantage of the expanded attack surface, with the volume of attacks up by nearly 40% in the last month and COVID-19-themed phishing attacks jumping by 500%. The current situation is an IT manager’s worst nightmare.

This new remote work environment ushers in an entirely new security landscape and in record-time. Long-term solutions can be found in zero trust models and cloud security adoption, but time is of the essence. Organizations should act now.

The following are a few short-term, easy-to-implement actions that IT managers can take now to bolster cybersecurity amid the current pandemic.

1. Apply “social distancing” to home networks

Traditionally, home Wi-Fi networks are used for less sensitive tasks, often unrelated to work: children play games on their tablet, voice assistants are activated to display the weather, and movies are streamed on smart TVs. Fast forward to today, and employees are now connecting to the office through this same network, leaving gaps for children or non-working adults who may also be accessing the internet via the same network. Lines are blurred, and so is security.

Just as social distancing is encouraged to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, the same should apply digitally to our home networks. IT managers can encourage employees to partition their home internet access. This means trying to block children and non-working adults from using the same network connection that is used to log into the office. This step alone helps prevent a tidal wave of unknown vulnerabilities.