As more companies expand the option for employees to work remotely, the risk for cyberattacks increases. Working from home presents a unique set of security vulnerabilities, such as unsecured home networks or mobile devices used to access work files. Here are some top reasons why cyber security training is more important than ever right now for companies with work-from-home employees.
In 2020, the dramatic increase in the number of employees working remotely also led to a spike in cyber attacks. Cyber criminals can take advantage of insecure RDP endpoints that can be brute-forced or create loopholes in VPN structure. They can also use tactics such as COVID-19-themed phishing emails, taking advantage of remote workers who may be more likely to be distracted and not as careful about checking for suspicious attachments.
Unfortunately, the increased risk of cyber attacks isn't expected to change anytime soon. As many companies plan to continue work-from-home options for their employees in a post-pandemic world, organizations should be prepared for continued cyber attacks and security threats within corporate and home networks.
Prepare for the future and keep your company's data secure by offering up-to-date and consistent training for IT managers and work-from-home employees. Cyber security training courses offer valuable hands-on training and real-world simulations to boost the knowledge of your team to prepare for possible threats.
Threat actors know that home networks tend to be less secure than corporate infrastructure and have been taking advantage of this with the rapid expansion of work-from-home employees. For example, cyber attackers may rent or sell hijacked devices with vulnerable home networks to underground operators or other groups seeking command-and-control capabilities.
Researchers expect that home computers and routers will continue to be low-hanging fruit for cyber attackers. As attackers evolve and mature, endpoint security will become an even bigger focus in the future.
Mobile devices are often seen as weak links in the security chain to cybercriminals, so it's crucial to make sure that your devices and any apps you download are in accordance with your company's security policies.
With more employees working from home, mobile apps offered from cloud services offer ways to improve communication and productivity. However, cybercriminals take advantage of this with phishing attempts intended to get the user to install a malicious app on their device.
Security teams should focus on ramping up authentication for home networks and mobile devices, including utilizing zero-trust frameworks. Zero-trust frameworks inherently do not trust any user in an organization’s network and must first be authenticated and authorized by the organization to access data and apps.
With more employees working from home, companies are relying more heavily on cloud applications and collaboration services. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom have become everyday communication tools, and resources that are connected and shared on the cloud are becoming the norm.
This mass influx of data newly exposed to the cloud also creates new targets for cyber attackers. For example, cybercriminals can create legitimate-looking ads for fake Microsoft Teams updates, leading to malware-infected networks.
Insider Threats Are Growing
Employers have less control and visibility over remote workers, which could increase the risk for insider threats — a fast-growing and costly problem for companies. It can be easier for a remote employee with malicious intent to take more risks with data or to steal confidential information for personal gain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in many dissatisfied employees who have lost their jobs or been furloughed, increasing the likelihood of insider threats. However, insider threats can stem from both malicious and negligent insiders. Although "negligent insiders" don't cause security breaches intentionally, they account for the majority of insider-threat incidents.
Although threats are on the rise, many companies don't offer adequate cyber security training for employees. Investing in relevant, up-to-date training courses is one of the best ways your company can stay resilient and be prepared for new threats as they evolve.
Cyber security is an ever-changing topic. It's important to stay in the know through cyber security training on the current best practices in keeping your data secure while working from home. Learning about the latest security threats and loopholes in your industry — and how you can prevent them — helps keep your network safe at your office or anywhere you work remotely.