We recently interviewed experienced Business Writer, Sarah Veysey, on her thoughts about key trends and what businesses can do to be more resilient. Sarah mentioned a significant increase in cyber crime due to Covid-19, which has affected businesses of all sizes.

“Cyber criminals have been taking advantage of the disruption caused by the pandemic. There’s been a marked increase in attacks against companies of all types with criminals using familiar techniques like phishing and malware. The methods and the threat aren’t new, but they have been amplified by the shift to remote working. Cyber security experts recommend steps companies can take to build their resilience to these attacks. Maybe the most important of these is to ensure there’s clear communication with employees about remote-working best practices.” — Sarah Veysey, Business Writer

 

Are you cyber secure?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2020 reinforces Sarah Veysey’s comments and provides guidance on how employees can work from both the office and home in safer and smarter ways.

While all businesses are at risk, by investing in employee behaviour, which will remain valuable in whatever form office life returns to, businesses are in a better position to recognise, identify and respond to a cyber threat.

Key takeaways include:

  • Ensure all the virtual doors and windows are shut, and they are protected with strong passwords
  • It sounds simple but business that invest in cyber security are more resilient, with the right software and aware staff, meaning that they are in a better position to avoid breaches
  • Invest in your software and regularly test your systems

 

The risk of love

One risk not identified by the Hiscox report but recently covered by Wired is the risk of romance to businesses. 

Jason Hong, a professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, is part of a research group focused on social cybersecurity. Taking real-world human behaviour as a starting point for security practices, Hong spoke to Victoria Turk from Wired saying, “If you look at cybersecurity today, they sort of assume that people are individual actors, and sort of rational. A lot of research has shown that that’s not really the case.”

While sharing accounts such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon may be down to convenience, there is also an emotional aspect, with account-sharing seen as a sign of intimacy.

Turk writes, “Your own security might be excellent, but if you’ve shared your credentials, you’re at the mercy of the weakest link. And if your own security is not so great, the risk is particularly grave: if you reuse passwords, for example, then one getting compromised can result in attacks on other accounts associated with the same email or username.”

Turk also identifies another group of people to be wary of: your colleagues. Cyber security has become worse as more workplaces have moved online due to the pandemic, with colleagues often sharing accounts with weak passwords, making it easier for cyber criminals to take advantage of the disruption. This risk combined with the risk of loved ones is putting businesses at greater risk than before.
 

Change your passwords

The quickest and easiest thing for all businesses to do is to change their passwords and ensure they are strong. It’s also an issue for tech designers, with the assumption that an account will only be used by the person who set it up, showing that we still have a long way to go.
 

Get cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is dedicated to getting businesses back up and running quickly after a cyber attack, providing a range of services like IT forensic response, crisis communication, legal advice and, if necessary, credit card monitoring.

Get in touch to find out how we can help protect your business in case of a cyber attack.