The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the whole world has led to sudden changes in the working criteria and the lifestyle of the people. Many organizations are integrating technology with the new work culture while following the social distancing norms. This sudden change has also brought up many challenges related to cyber security and the cyber team is all geared up to face these challenges.

Work from home – the challenges

With the ongoing pandemic around the world, remote working or work from home is the new work culture aka the new normal. But this new work culture has increased security threats. Now, the employees are totally dependent on the resources available with them rather than secured official equipment. Earlier the employees used the company’s resources that were highly secure and encrypted. Apparently, work from home culture is more vulnerable to cyber attacks like hacking, frauds, scams, etc. The employees who were already working remotely are quite aware of such security threats. For the employees working remotely for the first time, they need to be extra alert till the situation improves. Nevertheless, many companies are drafting effective measures to handle and avoid cyber attacks.

The ways cyber attacks are affecting in the new era of work from home

The COVID pandemic has brought up huge challenges for the economy worldwide. To continue working despite of lockdowns and restricted outside movement, technology is being heavily relied upon. However, this has led to increase in cyber attacks and is affecting the new work ethics. Some of the ways in which cyber attacks are affecting the new work culture are :-

  • Increase in phishing sites, fraudulent e-mails:- The surge in home based working has led to increase in phishing sites and fraud e-mails. The cyber attackers fake the identity of the company or one of it’s employees and sends mails to other employees requesting information. Before checking such mails the employee must ensure of the source of the mail. If it is suspicious, the security team needs to be informed immediately. This situation arises when the employee is using a VPN that is neither protected nor encrypted. In such case, it becomes easy for the attackers to peep through the network and collect the relevant information. Leak of information is loss to both the employee and the company.

  • Triggering of malwares and other malicious softwares: – The cyber attackers are taking the advantage of COVID-19 and moulding it as a tool to plant malwares and other malicious softwares in the system. They are sending links or posters related to the pandemic and once clicked the malware gets activated. These malicious softwares steal all the information from the system and send it to their source. To avoid such harm, it is important that proper security related softwares like antivirus, malware protection, etc. must be installed and must be up to date.
  • Threat to third – party suppliers:- In order to cut costs and increase the efficiency, many companies employ third-party suppliers to handle the business and network related operations. But these suppliers are also the target of cyber attackers. If the third-party suppliers become the victims of cyber information breaching, it can result in a huge loss for the company as well as the suppliers. To avoid falling in such a trap, the third party suppliers must use proper measures to safeguard the confidentiality between them and the company.

In this situation of crisis, it becomes important for both the employer and the employee to understand the effective ways to adapt to this new normal.