As I mentioned in this column last week, I’ve been receiving an enormous amount of COVID-19 pitches from publicists related, unrelated, and peripherally related to the imaging industry.
This morning I received a pitch from a publicist in London with the following headline: “Covid-19 is the biggest-ever cyber security threat to hit businesses,” and the following subhead: “Securely authenticating employees working remotely is becoming critical to business continuity”
Well, that captured my attention.
I think you’ll find the information in the press release of interest even if it was promoting a client, especially if you have employees and/or customers working from home.
The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing millions of employees to work from home. This means countless organizations are faced with a unique challenge: how to keep as many business-critical functions running as possible whilst maintaining adequate security.
Phishing attacks have risen an unprecedented 667% in the UK compared to February, according to ITProPortal as malicious actors trick users via fake coronavirus alerts. Government statistics revealed that 75% of large organizations were hacked last year, meaning this enhanced threat is all the more worrying, according to Computer Weekly.
According to James Stickland, CEO of authentication platform Veridium, COVID-19 is now posing the largest-ever cyber security threat of recent times. He believes it has shone a light on technology, forcing enterprises to innovate, however, some companies are placing their business at risk by taking shortcuts on security measures.
“What makes this situation so difficult are the timeframe,” said Strickland. “Where typical changes of this scale are planned, researched, deployed, and tested over months and even years, the UK now has just weeks to overcome some very real problems. These circumstances, albeit challenging and worrying, indeed present a long-term opportunity for businesses to reassess their security strategies. Many companies are facing increasing scrutiny over their identity verification requirements, particularly video conferencing tools which have exploded in popularity. At this current time, invoking business continuity must be prioritized, ensuring clients are serviced and secure authentication for remote employees is provided.”
Strickland added, “Ensuring that remote workers don’t fall foul of phishing attacks when resetting passwords will be crucial for employees working from home. There has been a 667% increase in funded cyberattacks on passwords, which are already the weakest link in the security trail, being responsible for over 80% of data breaches.”
Strickland emphasized that software-based authentication that can be delivered remotely will be key to improving cybersecurity for home workers.
“Authentication measures that require passwords or PINs put pressure on already inundated or unavailable IT helpdesks through resets,” he said. “More and more organizations are realizing the benefits of taking a multi-factor biometric approach to security, which can efficiently safeguard sensitive employee and customer data whilst future-proofing their business.”
Yes, that was a subtle promotional message for Strickland’s company, however, it does bring attention to a serious issue and suggests a reasonable strategy for organizations to consider no matter what cyber security company is offering this service.
“The way the world works will change after this – individuals and businesses will rethink their priorities,” added Strickland. “Flexible working will be more accepted, security will matter more, and relationships will matter more. In the same way it takes a cyber-breach to invest in improving security, this pandemic will make a number of businesses overhaul their remote working strategies. It will be very interesting to see how the business and security world will change.”
I’ll share more information like this as long as it isn’t too promotional in addition to our industry specific COVID-19 coverage. If you’re curious about Veridium, you may want to check out its www.veridiumid.com.