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70% of large businesses believe remote working makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks

Christian Fernsby ▼ | August 4, 2020
New research shows almost three quarters of large businesses believe remote working policies introduced to help stop the spread of coronavirus are making their companies more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Study   Businesses
ATT's study of 800 cybersecurity professionals across the UK, France and Germany shows that while 88% initially felt well prepared for the migration, more than half (55%) now believe widespread remote working is making their companies more or much more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Topics: Cyber attacks

This figure jumps to 70% for large businesses with over 5,000 employees.

In March, as a global pandemic was declared and organisations around the world began implementing wide scale remote working policies, OTX experienced a 2,000% month over month increase in coronvirus related IOCs in March.

Employees are the biggest risk identified by the cyber experts.

The ATT research points to a lack of awareness, apathy and reluctance to adapt to new technologies as the biggest challenge to implementing good cybersecurity practices within their business (31%).

They report that one in three (35%) employees are using devices for both work and personal uses, one in four (24%) are sharing or storing sensitive information in unsanctioned cloud applications, and almost one in five (18%) are sharing their work device with another family member.

While many businesses have introduced new cybersecurity measures to mitigate risks since the onset of coronavirus, a large minority have not taken basic steps to protect a suddenly remote workforce.

One quarter (25%) have not offered additional cybersecurity training for employees; 24% have not created secure gateways to applications hosted in the cloud or in a data centre; 22% have not increased endpoint security to protect laptops and mobile phones; and 17% have not implemented internet browsing protection from web based threats.

Cybercriminals are exploiting the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID 19 and current economic concerns as topics for phishing and other fraud activities.

Simultaneously, they are attempting to take advantage of the new remote workforces to launch attack campaigns.

44% of cybersecurity experts cite ransomware and/or malware attacks as their top security concern.

Phishing (39%) and external threats such as nation state attacks or hacking (39%) round off their top three concerns.

Faced with a multitude of urgent cyber risk and compliance challenges, cyber security experts are also gearing up for new innovations as a response to business conditions around coronavirus.

Almost half (47%) expect more digital transformation of business processes and cloud implementation in the year to come.

Two in five (40%) believe that their business will adopt new automation and robotic tools.

For the largest businesses, those with more than 5,000 employees, nearly half (48%) will be changing their technology partners in the next year.