Cyberattack volume grew in 78% of businesses globally, remote working main catalyst
Data presented by the Atlas VPN team reveals that globally, 78% of businesses experienced an increase in the volume of cyberattacks because of a shift towards remote work.
Even though social media platforms are flooded with news of companies proudly presenting the fact that they are permanently shifting to a remote-work environment, they usually do not mention the fact that the pivot has created major issues for their security.
Unpatched personal devices, erratic employee behavior, and inadequately protected home networks create many loopholes for threat actors to exploit.
Carbon Black, a company that provides workload protection services surveyed 3,542 CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs to find out if WFH (work from home) resulted in an increase in cyberattacks. Respondents were from various industries and 14 different countries. The survey was published in June 2021. Here, we will analyze the increase in attacks on a country-by-country basis.
The study shows that a whopping 96% of enterprises in France saw a significant increase in the number of attacks due to the shift to a WFH environment.
The second most affected country is Australia, where 89% of cybersecurity professionals reported that attacks increased due to employees working remotely. The United Kingdom and Japan share third and fourth place, with 86% of respondents stating that they noticed a significant jump in cyber threats in the past year.
As many as 84% of businesses in Saudi Arabia, 83% in the Netherlands, 82% in Singapore, and 80% in the United Arab Emirates said that attacks jumped substantially. Canada is in line with the global average, where 78% of enterprises reported a growth in the cyberattack volume because of a pivot to WFH.
Interestingly, the United States is at the lower side of the scale, with 63% of cybersecurity professionals reporting an increase in cyber threats in the past year.
In addition, 79% of respondents noticed that attacks had become more sophisticated. Meaning, hackers are willing to spend more time creating targeted attacks. These attacks aim to disarm specific security measures the target company has in place.
Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the companies that had a cyberattack reported having an average of 2.35 breaches per year. These were not minor leaks either. In 80% of the breaches, the incident was material, which means that it was significant and was reported to regulators or the incident response (IR) team.
This data is in line with our earlier reports, where we found that over 5 billion personal records were leaked in Q1 of 2021, and there were 37 billion data records leaked in 2020, a growth of 140% year-over-year.
Protect yourself when working remotely
Atlas VPN team would like to provide you with a range of cybersecurity practices to protect yourself when working remotely.
Don’t delay software updates
If you receive a notification that a software update is available for any of your devices, make sure to install it as soon as possible. Software updates correct security holes and help protect your data.
Always use a VPN
If you are using a VPN (as you should), don't turn it off even when you stop working if you are using the same device for work and personal purposes. Otherwise, you'll lose a tool that could stop someone from stealing your confidential information.
Also, strictly avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing work-related accounts.
Watch out for phishing scams
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the surge in remote work to fill inboxes with bogus emails.
Be particularly cautious when you receive emails tied to the pandemic. These emails are intended to capitalize on people's natural curiosity and desire to learn more about pandemic-related issues.
Fraudsters send phishing emails that look to be from a trustworthy entity, such as an employer or a financial institution.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication secures an online account (such as your bank account), an electronic device, or a computer network.
Before someone may log in to an account, connect to a device, or log in to a network, multi-factor authentication requires at least two methods of proving their identity. Passwords, security tokens, and biometric identification are examples of these methods.