May 13

Industry Insights

New survey shows that a third of Irish workers have had an online account compromised since working remotely

OneLogin recently surveyed 5000 remote workers across 5 countries including 1000 in Ireland on their experience so far of working from home. The results showed that in Ireland nearly 1/3 of those working from home since the outbreak of COVID 19 have had some sort of breach of an online account. This statistic highlights the need for businesses to focus efforts on cyber security measures now more than ever with so many of their staff working offsite.

The survey also showed that workers from home were for the most part using company supplied devices but critically were sharing their login with other family members and using the device to access non work-related sites. This also adds to the risk factor of a company device being compromised.

cyber security

So what can your business do to reduce cyber risk

1. Turn on Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to better secure online accounts. 2FA involves a secondary measure (after initial login and password) to verify the login attempt. This usually involves using your mobile phone to verify your identity by either clicking on a texted / emailed link or typing in a number sent by an authenticator app.

2. Be very wary of phishing attempts. During the pandemic the number of attempted cyber hacks has soared to record levels as criminals exploit more insecure IT environments and the general atmosphere of fear among the population. Beware of emails that can often be disguised as coming from a legitimate contact that are unusual or unexpected and any emails that reference the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more tips on what to look out for to help recognise phishing attempts.

3. Secure employee devices. Take the time to check if employee devices are properly equipped with encryption, antivirus and an automated patching mechanism. Unpatched vulnerabilities remain a critical entry point for hackers. A patching service which can keep company devices, even those accessing networks remotely, up to date with patches will go a long way to helping keep the criminals out. Check out Novi Patchguard here.

4. User Awareness. Help your staff stay cyber safe at home by educating them on what they need to look out for and assure them that it is the sensible thing to do to report any suspicious activity that they might encounter on their devices will working remotely. Our staff guide to staying safe online is easy to understand and contains all the relevant factors to managing your own cyber security.

5. Consider using a service such as Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite (EMS) to provide a centralised method to enforce control across remote devices. Once setup and configured, the system automatically checks that devices such as laptops and phones are compliant or authorised before access to Office 365 applications is granted. Learn more about EMS and its uses in this blog.

It is vital that IT managers and business owners remember that While efforts have been focused on enabling employees to work from home, IT areas that were deemed as high-risk prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, remain a risk or are at even higher risk now.

There is a tendency to forget that these workers are still all connecting to core business applications and systems to carry out tasks and do their jobs. These applications are dependent on infrastructure such as servers, networks and firewalls, all of which work together to host secure connectivity for employees and customers.

Many IT projects have been put on hold until after the pandemic has passed but the reality is that many IT services can be carried out remotely and in person with social distancing if needed at a later stage.

Contact us at Novi if you have any IT projects that you would like to discuss or have any concerns about vulnerabilities in your current network.