Mandatory shutdowns, social distancing, and consumers’ fear of being infected have contributed to the fact that 96% of small and medium-sized companies have already felt the direct impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. As if that wasn’t enough, business owners are also facing an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks.
The objective of this article is to assist small and medium-sized businesses to look at the overwhelming situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic from a new viewpoint. A vision allowing businesses to emerge stronger and fully prepared for the cybersecurity challenges of the “new normal”.
The future of work is already here
At IntelligentIT.pro we have seen companies of all sizes in Dallas, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, and Plano TX adopting remote work as an effective alternative to stay afloat. Furthermore, we have helped countless small and medium-sized companies to successfully transition their operations to the teleworking scheme. During the process, most organizations have recognized that “working from home” has brought significant improvements within the company.
- Reduction of the overall business expenses
- Better productivity
- Ability to quickly respond to customers’ needs
- Higher availability
- Increased resilience
In fact, results are so promising that many businesses in Texas already decided to reinvent themselves to adopt a “hybrid” approach once the pandemic is over. Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that, far from returning to the office, some business units will remain working from home. Permanently.
However, working from home also brings new challenges. Most notably, the risk of becoming a victim of cyberattacks.
The devastating cost of cybercrimes to small and medium businesses
When it comes to remote work, cybersecurity should always be a priority.
However, truth is nowadays many companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Partly due to not having a formal IT department, party due to their information gap. This situation makes small and medium-sized businesses the perfect target of cyberattackers.
As experts in the cybersecurity field, IntelligentIT.pro can confirm that hackers have evolved during the pandemic. The preferred attack vectors used by cybercriminals include:
- Phishing emails. Despite being so common, email scams are still highly effective in obtaining confidential information. This type of attack consists of sending emails mimicking those of banks and other trusted institutions asking the recipient to provide business account login credentials
- Email spoofing. This is a more advanced phishing attack, where the hacker spoofs the email address of the sender of the message, making it look as if the message came from the legitimate email address.
- Attacking unsecured networks. Never underestimate cybercriminals. Regardless if you live in relatively small communities like Frisco, McKinney, Allen, or Plano or a big city like Dallas, employees can be identified and hence being targeted in their own homes. All attackers need to do is monitor employees’ wireless networks and verify their level of security.
- Brute force attacks. Remember that cybercriminals are experts in social engineering, it will not be difficult for them to know your child’s birthday or your social security number hence enforcing the use of strong passwords within the company is a must.
The cost of a successful attack on the company’s infrastructure can be devastating. Complete access to financial resources, sensitive data, and intellectual property, is among the possible outcomes. Does this mean that remote work is infeasible?
Actually, is quite the contrary.
Preparing your business for the new normal
While it is true that cybersecurity is a complex topic requiring a holistic approach, at IntelligentIT.pro we have identified two key aspects that should be included in any cybersecurity strategy.
- The power of cloud services. Moving applications to the cloud definitely minimizes the attack surface, as many cloud providers can neutralize potential threats long before they have any chance of doing harm. Two classic examples are appropriately configured spam filters and cloud-based enterprise resource planning systems.
- Managed IT and Remote Help Desk Support. This is arguably the most important aspect in order to minimize cyberattacks. At IntelligentIT.pro we can offer businesses top-quality managed IT services and remote help desk support, both for onsite as well as offsite workers. Configuring secure VPN connections and monitoring the network for weaknesses, are only part of the services that could take your company cybersecurity to the next level.
The spread of the COVID-19 has changed the way companies work. As telecommuting consolidates as a viable long-term solution, the need for cloud services and remote IT support becomes crucial. Setting up devices, managing software updates, and solving connectivity issues are only a few of the services that a remote IT team can provide.
At IntelligentIT.pro we are more than ready to assist your organization starting its IT transformation and prepare for the bright future ahead. Kindly contact us today and our team will quickly attend any query you might have regarding cybersecurity solutions.