The big tech companies may not have recorded structural administrative problems in switching to the remote work option in comparison with other sectors, but a security threat is one that now threatens them.
It is no longer news that the coronavirus spread will shape global life even beyond the pandemic. What we can not say for sure is which aspects of our everyday lives will return to the status quo after the pandemic. The higher education systems and many other walks of life that require less human contact seem to have assimilated to the “new normal” of working from home, but there is a sector leveraging the situation.
Temporary Remote Work Becomes Permanent Remote Work?
During the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies switched to working from home, a move many of them thought would be just temporary. A country like Germany that is rooted in traditional work patterns was also overtaken and soon switched to working from home.
Such expectations, that the work from home would be a temporary response to the virus outbreak, seem to have now fizzled away as establishments are rapidly adapting to the remote work mode and some of them do not see an end to it in any foreseeable future.
According to a report published in March by Sazka company’s Instant Research, about 35% of the Czech workforce worked remotely in the first wave of the virus. This shows a high number of employees who easily switched to remote work.
Second Wave Of Coronavirus And Its Impact On Remote Work
With the second wave of the coronavirus, many companies that returned their employees to the office during the summer months are now sending them back to working from home. Some have extended the work from home till mid-2021 and some have subscribed for permanent work from home. This trend is most prominent among big techs as well as small tech companies.
Very Few Employees Want To Return To The Office
In the Czech Republic, the antivirus giant Avast took the lead to offer employees work from home in March. They offered their employees an opportunity to return to the office in summer months but many of them preferred to continue to work from home. They would prefer to come to the office only if the need arises.
According to a survey by Jonathan Appleton, Managing Director of ABSL, a tech and business organization, 50% of companies allowed their staff to return to the office in the summer months, with only very few complying.
47% Productivity Increase
Despite the pandemic, the year has seen many tech companies record-high profits. As against the general assumptions that working from home hampers workers’ productivity, research carried out by Prodoscore with 30000 of their users in March and April showed a 47% increase in work growth compared to the same time last year.
“People work well from home, they don’t have to waste time commuting, they work at a time that suits them best and they have maximum support from employers,” said Appleton, as reported by Expats.cz
BigTechs To Work From Home From Another Year At Least
Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Coinbase, Twitter, and a host of other big techs have allowed a large proportion of their employees to work from home while setting the return date to offices to summer 2021. To ease home office conditions especially for employees whose home is not well suited, for that, some of the companies like Avast with employees in Brno, Prague, and Bratislava have allowed their employees to take their office furniture home.
Concerns About Security Threats And Vulnerabilities
Beyond the benefits of a home office, a work from home option presents threats that companies should be concerned about. Such cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are major challenges among the big techs and a 100% home office option predisposes them to maximum risk. The risk can also pose a threat to the continuity and success of the company.
Companies attuned to traditional work from which has only switched to the home office option without thoroughly given its employee orientation about the underlying security dangers may fall prey to such hazards.
Security threats could range from targeted attacks for specific data and attacks on institutions and governmental establishments to non-targeted attacks for information gathering and data infiltration.
Given the increased shared data online and numerous video streaming, as work from home shuttered companies, hackers have at their disposal hips of data targets that they can bombard using the VPN brute-force attack.
Targeting VPN Portals By Hackers
By targeting a VPN portal, hackers attempt a breakthrough in the password or user ID of a secured portal with the help of lists of credentials that were generated by the computer in just a few minutes.
A command given to the computer generates random suggestive combinations using keywords, names, and figures in an attempt to get access to a secured portal. Such attempts to gate-crash the portal has been known as “password cracking” or “credential stuffing.” Users are usually encouraged not to use suggestive passwords to avoid falling prey to this attack.
Unsuccessful brute-force attacks still present other vulnerabilities to the website that has come under attack. When an unsuccessful attack has been launched, They predispose the server to increased traffic and display performance problems to the targeted website. Users of the website may encounter changes in using the site.
The Role Of Multi-Factor Authentication
The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for account securities is a step to stall the traditional use of username and passwords which is easily vulnerable to attackers. But this too is not without its own potential cyber-attacks. Attackers have been known to bypass such security setup and gatecrash the user.
In a home office setting, the users may not be conversant with the office 360 login pattern. They may become vulnerable to a fake account login request. A successful account login request attack will enable the attacker to obtain login credentials which would be used to impersonate the user and hack the companies’ database.
The Threats Of Internet Phishing Attacks
Another threat working from home exposes employees to is internet phishing attacks. But this is not only for working-from-home circumstances. It rather increased its pace. Attackers create fake links and prey on people by luring them to click it. They present juicy deals with the intention to lure the victim into their net.
Once you click the malicious link, the attacker would siphon sensitive data that the attacker can use to establish a connection to their server.
Impact Of the Security Threats On Tech Companies
A security attack on a company’s sensitive data jeopardizes the confidentiality of the data and puts the organization at risk. Such sensitive data obtained by the attackers could be used to the detriment of the company and its vast number of customers. It could also give the attackers a lot of power since data has been known to be one of the most expensive commodities in the modern era.
Innovation drives companies to compete and set themselves top of their competitors which works in the favor of their customers. Classified information and the company’s innovation secrets require protection from internet security threats.
Data Security Laws and Laws Protecting Home Office
Creating a robust cybersecurity ecosystem that ensures the safety of the company and employee sensitive data has never been more crucial. At this period of time with increased dependence on the internet and the work from home culture, Germany is debating laws that will permit employees to work permanently from home according to an agreement with the employer.
Multiple layer encryption is another approach companies may resort to. Multiple layer encryption has been found to be a good adaptive technology to secure accounts and websites.
If you find any mistakes or inaccuracies in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at email@example.com