Risk and Compliance

Workplace Cybercrime: On the Rise

The shift to remote working has put organisations at increased risk.

By The Editors

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the U.K. and the world at large to issue regional lockdowns, businesses had to swiftly move to remote work environments. The heavy reliance on technology paired with the rate at which the transformation was required has opened organisations up to potential risk: cybercrime.

In fact, chief information security officers (CISOs) reported a 63% increase in cybercrime during lockdown due to their dispersed workforces, according to a new report from ESET and The Myers-Briggs Company. Such threats include phishing scams and malware attacks. The research also revealed that for 75% of companies, half of their business is being addressed by virtual workers who did not work remotely prior to the pandemic.

ESET’s research also showed that more than half of organisations did not have continuity measures in place for a pandemic prior to COVID-19, and whilst 80% said they did have a remote working strategy in place, only a quarter of respondents would consider their approach and operations plan effective.

Many organisations had to adapt their business processes during this time. According to the research, there are several measures that can help reduce the chances of cybercrime, including:

  • using a virtual desktop interface;
  • requiring encryption for sensitive files;
  • implementing multi-factor authentication;
  • using a VPN to access internal networks;
  • enabling automatic updates; and
  • ensuring security of Wi-Fi

What challenges are organisations facing with the shift to remote? According to the research, 80% of companies said that an increased cybersecurity risk caused by human factors posed some sort of challenge. In addition, 37% of respondents said workplace digitalisation has caused them to pivot in their strategies.

Despite a clear increase in cybersecurity threats, the research finds that 40% of CISOs revealed that they don’t anticipate an impact on their IT security budget compared to investments spent prior to COVID-19.

Tags: EMEA, EMEA News, EMEA News-May-2021, Risk & Compliance

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