Cybersecurity and remote work – so far, these two have not gotten along very well since the majority of workers began working from home last year. In 2020, 62% of Americans began working from home; and for 49%, this was their first experience with remote work. This meant that many more employees were suddenly using their personal devices, rather than company issued devices. They were working over unsecured or spotty WIFI, leaving security vulnerabilities. Employees were suddenly using Zoom and other video and collaborative tools to conduct business; tools which were easily hackable. The ability to secure remote work is key.
Employees were also suddenly connecting to their company networks in droves, which made the networks vulnerable as they were not intended to handle the mass of remote connections. Not to mention that although 75% of employees would typically follow security protocols given by their employers, only 20% actually received input on home cybersecurity.
Add this all together, and you get a 300% increase in cyber attacks, according to the FBI. You also get attacks targeting remote workers increasing by 5x and you get 20% of all businesses reporting an increase in security breaches. Not to mention that phishing is up by 600%, and ransomware is up by 148%. The pandemic of 2020 has brought more than just one virus with it. Due to the increase in remote work, it’s expected that 76% of organizations will take longer than before to detect and contain breaches. 70% of companies say that the cost of security breaches will only increase. Cybercriminals will continue to target remote workers using social engineering attacks, hacking vulnerable and IOT devices, and breaking through unsecured WiFi networks.
Is Multi-Factor Authentication the Answer?
It’s time for the internet to step up to the plate. Multi-factor authentication just isn’t cutting it. Passwords are too easy to hack and security questions are too easy to guess by gleaning a user’s social media. The real answer to these new security challenges lies with passwordless authentication. This replaces passwords with cryptography and biometrics. It’s also risk-based, which means that every user and device signal is checked. It also has no need for using out-of-band messages that can be intercepted.
It’s 2021. We’re doing things differently now, and it’s time for cybersecurity to get with the program.