Thoughts from Quan Heng Lim, Regional Head of Asia, Privasec – first posted on LinkedIn.
Lockdowns or circuit breaker, the Covid-19 global pandemic has forced a regime out of us to accept remote working more than what we used to talk about. While we work from home to prevent community spread of the virus, our increased usage of computing devices and internet from home – far away from the security systems and IT helpdesks in our offices – expose us to risks (other than the virus) some of us might have overlooked.
Just going by numbers…
In the past six months, Privasec saw a 50% increase in the requests for cyber security audits and services related to remote working. Some of these efforts involve major changes with the IT infrastructure of these organisations. According to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecasted to 23.1% in 2021 to a total of $332.3 billion – up from $270 billion in 2020:
Increased remote working and its accompanying cyber security concerns also affect individuals. Video conferencing platform Zoom, for example, was put in the spotlight early last year as it ballooned from 10 million to 200 million users, unveiling some of its capacity and security vulnerabilities. Without the right practices, security configuration and adjustments, Zoom was one of the early cyber victims of the wave of remote working globally.
Alongside this, phishing attacks went up by 600% in comparison to pre-covid trends. Combined with unsecured work environment at home, surveys show:
- 46% of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home, which is a worrying practice; and
- 3 in 10 remote workers admitted they did not protect their data with passwords.
In the light of providing numbers, Privasec also observed a 400% increase in response requests over the past year – a continuation of the trend influenced by the ease of executing malware (especially ransomware) attacks.
While we stay safe from the virus, do review your personal and company’s cyber security measures so we continue to be productive while we work from home. As we pay attention to the number of Covid-19 cases each day, let the numbers I share here be a reminder that cyber security threats continue to permeate – don’t add to the numbers.