How Working From Home Increases Cybersecurity Risks
When your employees work from home, they don’t get as much support and guidance from your IT team, which can leave their work devices at risk. Here are some of the common risks businesses faced in 2021 due to delayed IT responses and a lack of oversight:
Phishing emails sent out by scammers or hackers to get passwords and personal information have been a constant threat since before 2021. This year, there’s been a 600% increase in phishing emails since February.
Employees are more likely to fall for these scams while working from home because they don’t have immediate access to the IT department that typically supports them. And if employees work from a personal device, their IT team can’t access their files and is unaware of any phishing attacks.
Phishing emails are major threats to company data, especially if it’s kept on a personal device that lacks email security. If an employee falls for a phishing scam, their personal and company data can be lost or stolen, sometimes with no way to get it back. To increase remote work security, it’s important to train all employees about the risks of phishing emails.
Poorly Secured Wi-Fi
Another threat when working from home is unsecured Wi-Fi. Even if a remote employee uses a protected work device, their home network is usually unprotected, since most people don’t have firewalls in place at home.
Without firewalls to protect your Wi-Fi network, there are potential gaps in network security that can cause security threats to personal data. If you don’t have a firewall to protect your Wi-Fi router, make sure you regularly update your router to fix bugs and antivirus software.
How To Protect Your Remote Employees
It’s important to provide your employees with information on how to protect their devices. You can help employees secure their data by developing bring your own device (BYOD) guidelines. These guidelines advise employees on how to use their own devices for work. Consider implementing these BYOD guidelines to ensure your data’s safety:
- Don’t use jailbroken computers (computers that have all restrictions removed)
- Regularly update software
- Use different logins for home and work accounts
- Keep business and personal data separate
- Use a virtual private network
- Create a different password for each software on your device
Many Companies Battled Data Breaches In 2021
Even large companies that invest lots of money and time into their cyber protection were threatened with cyberattacks in 2021. There was a 102% increase in businesses affected by ransomware—cyberattacks that involved a ransom to get their data back—compared to 2020.
Colonial Pipeline Attack
In May of this year, the Colonial Pipeline paid $5 million in ransom to a Russian hacker group to get their personal and corporate data back. Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down 5,500 miles of pipelines to stop the cyberattack from spreading to any other networks.
The pipeline shutdown interrupted gas distribution, and people on the East Coast were unable to get gas.
After paying $5 million to the hacker group, the Colonial Pipeline was able to resume daily operations within a few days.
JBS Foods Data Breach
JBS is the world’s largest beef supplier. In May 2021, they paid hackers $11 million in ransom to get their data back.
Like the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, JBS had to shut down the production of multiple meat plants in Australia and the U.S. to prevent the cyber threat from spreading to other areas of their company.
Even with high-quality cyber protection, your company’s data is still at risk.
Kaseya, a major IT solutions developer, was also affected by a ransomware attack. About 800 supermarkets in Sweden were forced to close because their point of sale systems, controlled by Kaseya software, weren’t working.
In total, Kaseya estimates that 800 to 1,500 businesses were affected by the cyberattack.
The company refused to pay the ransom, and their systems began working again after a few days after an undisclosed party provided the decryption key.
What To Learn From 2021 Cyberattacks
With many people working from home and using personal devices for work, cybersecurity risks for businesses have increased. Even companies with firewalls and encrypted data have experienced lost or stolen data.
Now more than ever, it’s important to properly train employees on how to protect their devices while working from home. G6 IT – Military Grade IT provides remote support to protect your company’s data while your employees work remotely.
In 2022, you should expect more of the same when it comes to cyberattacks. As many people continue working from home, the same threats will follow your employees into the new year. G6’s experienced technicians can provide complete cybersecurity for all your remote employees.