The COVID-19 pandemic sure has turned everyday life on its head. From a business standpoint, the world has very much changed. Many businesses have either closed their doors temporarily. Others have been able to continue with a small remote workforce. Other businesses have changed their mode of operations to be able to continue in our new world, from micro breweries becoming hand sanitizer manufacturers to restaurants becoming grocery delivery services. Indeed, Maclean’s Magazine has an online layoff tracker, showing the number of workers laid off from various business across the country. So far, one million Canadians have applied for unemployment benefits.
In these types of conditions, it is normal to think about cost cutting. For organizations that think cutting their security budget during this time, I’d advise you think against it. Cybercriminals do not rest during a crisis. If anything, this is the perfect opportunity for them to ramp things up, as many organizations may temporarily take their “eye off the ball” while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Key areas to focus on include securing remote connections, secure video conferencing services, a detection and monitoring service and a breach response plan.
Remote workers present a whole slew of cyber concerns. Are they using a VPN or some form of encrypted connection to the network? And what are they using to connect to the network? Insecure Wi-Fi? Their kids gaming PC? To help lessen the risk to data privacy while working from home, it is wise that organizations have some sort of VPN (Virtual Private Network) in place. VPNs use what is called a “tunnel” to encrypt data as it travels over the internet. It can prevent hackers from seeing the data that is transmitted from home to work servers. According to the SANS Institute, “A VPN is a fantastic way to help protect your online privacy. However, a VPN does nothing to secure your computer, devices, or online accounts.” In addition to encryption, policies surrounding wi-fi and mobile devices also need to be in place. With policies, ensure that workers know why it’s wrong to share their work devices with their children or spouses.
Similarly, video conferencing has brought up a whole host of new security concerns. There has recently been an uptick in video conferences being hacked. Again, policies need to be in place for business-related teleconferencing. A good place to start is by not using free consumer grade apps, and always using a password. More tips for video conferencing can be found here.
Having 24x7 monitoring of your network is more important now than ever. Event better, an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider) will watch over your network while you all work from home. As mentioned earlier, a crisis is a great time for a cyber criminal to attack your network. Hackers will expect you to cut the cyber security budget short and will launch an attack. Having a trusted partner, like an MSSP, will be able to track anomalies in network traffic and alert you in the event something is wrong. They can also assist in writing security policies, patching systems for vulnerabilities, handle alert investigations and shut down intruders.
Having a breach readiness plan can mean the difference between thriving after a breach or having to close down. Now, more than ever, the question isn’t if you get breached, but when you get breached? What is your response plan? Uzado’s Breach Readiness as a Service (BRaaS) is a holistic approach to security is specifically designed to support our customers and their security requirements. Uzado can help your organization develop and maintain a proactive emergency response to emerging cyber security events, minimize the effect of a cyber security breach against the financial, reputation and time consuming impact of cybercrime, and develop a practical runbook remediation action plan based on risk events.
For these reasons, it is now more important than ever to keep investing in Cyber Security. If you need advice on how to cope with the cyber security challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us to today for a free consultation.