The Great Reopening has started! Finally, after more than a year of following strict pandemic guidelines, businesses and consumers can begin moving back to their normal lives.
Don’t let the celebratory atmosphere fool you, though. Your business faces severe IT security threats that you must prepare for. A detailed cybersecurity checklist can put you on the path to protection.
The Pandemic Gave Cybercriminals More Opportunities to Attack Organizations
While most of the world scrambled to maintain some sense of normalcy during the pandemic, cybercriminals saw an opportunity to take advantage of troubled times. Scammers really hunkered down and worked hard during 2020. Research shows that:
- 35% of cyberattacks came from previously unknown malware. (During a typical year, it’s about 20%.)
- Nearly half of people working from home fell for phishing scams.
- More than 500,000 video-conference app users were affected by data breaches between February and May 2020.
Even after vaccines began making it possible for people to return to work, a ransomware attack shut down the Colonial Pipeline, leading to higher gasoline prices and short-term hoarding.
IT Security Necessities for Post-Pandemic Protection
Taking a few necessary steps will block attacks and data breaches from most cybercriminals who want to find easy targets. The following necessities will offer some protection.
Implement MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
Someone might have already stolen one of your employees’ usernames and passwords. Having everyone update their passwords will improve the situation, but you should also use this as an opportunity to introduce multi-factor authentication (MFA).
You can choose from several types of MFA. Popular options include:
- Sending one-time passcodes to mobile devices.
- Verifying that devices belong to users and creating a log of each new device that accesses your system.
- Limiting access to registered devices.
- Asking a personal question before giving a user access.
MFA isn’t foolproof, but it does add a layer of security that will make your network more difficult to break into. Ideally, criminals will see the challenge and move on to someone who hasn’t implemented MFA.
Always Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Many businesses plan to let at least some of their employees continue working from home. Moving some workers to home offices makes sense because it could help your company save money and lower the risk that COVID-19 or a variant will force people back into isolation.
Unfortunately, remote workers also create security challenges that are difficult to control.
Setting up a secure VPN and requiring workers to use it when they access your network and retrieve data helps eliminate those challenges. A VPN encrypts information moving between your employee’s device and the network. Anyone spying on them will not be able to understand the data they receive or send.
Again, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of an attack, but it does give you considerable protection.
Stay Protected with This Cybersecurity Checklist
The increased threat from cybercriminals means that you should take the time to review your cybersecurity and make sure you have protections in place. Don’t assume that your previous plan will keep your business safe. The situation has become more severe, so you need a cybersecurity checklist that will counter the latest trends in online crime.
Get the most effective security services by reaching out to Stasmayer Incorporated. We specialize in managed IT and security for companies located in the Carolinas. Our team can help with infrastructure hosting, email encryption, data security solutions, cloud servers, backup solutions, and more.
Set up a meeting with Stasmayer to get personalized IT security solutions. Don’t wait! Each day gives criminals more opportunities to steal your data or attack your network.