Among a whole host of vulnerabilities that COVID-19 has exposed, Two elements have become very apparent, very fast for businesses trying to adopt a Work From Home (WFH) model. Firstly, the logistics of setting up the business backbone to support a WFH arrangement is more complicated than is typically assumed. From the basics of necessary IT infrastructure, to the complex coordination of staff involvement using the appropriate software tools, many businesses have been finding the initial adjustment to be quite intimidating. While this initial hiccup can be eventually overcome in some way or another, this then brings the second element to the fore – that is, exposing the business to cyber threats.
The simple example of how the innocuous ZOOM video conferencing application went from darling to disaster in a matter of days is proof of how vulnerable all of us are to cyber-criminals. Not all online platforms and tools are created securely and the more people using a software application, the more exposed the business becomes. All it takes is for one member of the staff to carelessly click a link that installs ransomware that locks down the entire system.
While it is true that cyber-criminals are technological advanced, their success is still heavily reliant on human error. This human error can be in the form of poor choice of software or poor safety design of the tools being used but it is most often than not in the form of unsafe practices by the user. As mentioned before, staff who are prone to clicking through links before verifying if they are fake or spoofed, or those who are not careful with the amount of information that they reveal, are the easiest victims to exploit.
Since people are more careful with their physical security than their safety online, one simple approach to enhance the safe practice of staff is to correlate physical safety with online safety. For example, by explaining how a person might react to finding an unmarked box at their doorstep (i.e. with suspicion and caution) to how they ought to react to an unmarked attachment in an email they are not familiar with, the appropriate attitude and safe practice can be fostered.
Thus, it is important for all businesses that are shifting to a WFH model to ensure that the staff are aligned to the right safety mindset before proceeding with the business activities. This approach will set the right tone for everyone to work safely together and keep the system secure.
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