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Keeping businesses secure whilst working remotely

Since the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been forced to close their offices. Non-furloughed staff have been asked to carry on as best they can via remote working.

Published on 15 June 2020

For many firms, this has been the only option – a stark choice between working from home or potentially closing their doors for good. Many millennial and Gen Z professionals have found the transition to remote working enlightening. Who knew there were so many collaborative tools and platforms available to ensure projects and meetings continue to run without fail?

But with that surge in remote working brings a new danger to businesses. In fact, three-quarters of senior decision-makers in UK businesses feel the cyber security risks have risen sharply as more employees work from home. That’s according to a recent poll by Censuswide on behalf of Centrify.

Within the survey, almost half (46%) said they had already experienced a rise in phishing attacks since implementing remote working policies. 79% said they had been forced to ramp up their measures to handle the increased volumes of remote access during the lockdown. Online training to update employee skills is sure to be a crucial part of this strategy.

Learning People | Man on laptop in meeting

Examples of organisations at risk of cyber threats

Worryingly, the UK’s NHS is one of the most at-risk organisations, according to hacking analysts. “Large-scale” attacks have been made against national and global health organisations like the NHS, as fraudsters seek to obtain sensitive personal data, intellectual property and “intelligence that aligns with national priorities”.

According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), cyber criminals have begun to adopt a laser-like focus on COVID-19 themed attacks. The NCSC revealed a rise in the number of “password-spraying” attacks, which seek to obtain access to users’ accounts by correctly guessing commonly-used passwords. The NCSC has warned organisations like the NHS to amend passwords immediately, particularly those that could be “reasonably guessed” to passwords combining three random words.

The concern for much of the NHS’ IT system is that it lacks two-factor authentication, which adds an additional security layer that’s almost hacker-proof.

The NHS is no stranger to online security breaches, with the Wannacry attack in 2017 leaving its mark on several NHS trusts across the UK.

For other businesses, maintaining collaborative working environments has been a challenge remotely, but software such as Zoom has made it possible to keep clear lines of communication open between colleagues. Video conferencing has been one of the biggest successes of the remote working surge, reinforcing the need to embrace remote meetings more in the future to limit the carbon footprint of companies and keep expenses down.

According to Check Point’s threat research department, the number of cyber hackers that have targeted the Zoom platform has risen steadily in recent months. Many hackers have sought to impersonate genuine Zoom domains with the sole purpose of stealing sensitive personal data. When you consider that the Zoom app has been downloaded by over 50 million people worldwide, it’s easy to see why opportunistic cyber criminals have gravitated to Zoom phishing campaigns.

Professionals with cybersecurity expertise are understandably in high demand

In the US, the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) revealed that cyber security programmes have grown by 33%, but this is still not enough to meet demand in the States. It’s a similar story in the UK as more and more businesses realise the mission-critical nature of cyber security skills. Individuals with the ability to scrutinise their employers’ own security networks and evolve against the most sophisticated hacking tactics will be in high demand in the years ahead.

Can you fill the UK’s cybersecurity need?

It’s estimated that there will be 100,000 unfilled cyber security vacancies across the UK in the next few years. That’s where we come in. We’re passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation of cyber security experts, protecting the interests of businesses and individuals online.

With the country facing an exponential cyber skills shortage ahead of the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), our online training courses are designed to get you career-ready, no matter what your current experience is.

Our cyber security courses are provided by our trusted partners including Cisco, EC-Council, Comptia and many more leading organisations, equipping you with the knowledge and expertise to close that skills gap and become an expert in this sector.

We offer the most relevant courses for emerging trends in the cyber security industry, namely ethical hacking. It takes a methodical, inquisitive mind to become a successful ethical hacker. Our course can help you learn how to target vulnerabilities in the security systems of businesses and organisations, saving them money and safeguarding their data and reputation. 

Better still, all our courses are available 24/7 and can be accessed on any device, from anywhere in the world.

Planning a career change during the lockdown? Get in touch with Learning People today and let us help you future-proof your career.