Comprehensive cybersecurity protects the future of remote work
While businesses manage the effects of the Covid pandemic, demand for network bandwidth in Utah constantly increases as businesses across the state have relied on network providers to support remote work environments. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have capitalized on this demand, also.
“This is a prime opportunity for cybercriminals to attack because many employees are still working from home, their children have just started a new school year online, and ongoing social distancing means that people are spending more time online for their entertainment,” says Bryan Thomas, VP Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region. “The concern is people are using their home networks, which tend to be more susceptible to deliberate cyberattack threats compared to an internal network in an office building.”
Federal officials report an increase in cybercrime in Utah. In November 2021, for example, a Utah-based radiology center announced a data breach affecting more than 580,000 patients after their personal information was exposed. In June 2021, cybercriminals demanded nearly $500,000 in ransom following a cyberattack at the University of Utah.
“Not surprisingly, no business is immune from cyberattacks while its employees continue to work remotely. In fact, two-thirds of small businesses alone have experienced some form of breach attempt,” says Thomas. “Today, businesses must invest in comprehensive cybersecurity technology and practices to prevent malicious attacks and long-term damage.”
Three things every business can do to improve network security include realizing:
- There’s no such thing as an overprepared cybersecurity strategy;
- Every employee must be trained to recognize cybersecurity threats; and
- ‘Common sense’ policies protect businesses on the front lines where employees are constantly interfacing with incoming emails.
“For years, Comcast has developed solutions and tools to help businesses and homes be as protected as possible,” he said. “Connecting customers and employees to work, school, friends, and family means delivering security that is always on.
“At Comcast, 24/7/365 protection across Utah starts with security that’s built-in, not bolted on. For that reason, we develop and deploy products designed from the ground up to be secure and resilient to cyberattacks by using an industry-leading framework called the Secure Development Lifecycle, which is an end-to-end approach calculated to deliver highly secure products, whether devices, networks, systems, APIs or services, from initial concepts to the end.”
Because it’s critical to stay current on the latest threats and address security gaps in the system, businesses can make their cybersecurity strategies airtight by using these four essential starting points: Implement advanced tools; secure employees’ personal devices; stress test the network and invest in experts to cover the current scope of threats to your business.
“Even if your business is using state-of-the-art cybersecurity software to protect its data, those tools are only effective if employees have the cybersecurity education to match,” said Thomas. “During this time of sustained remote work, ongoing employee education on the signs and dangers of cyber threats remains critical.
“Provide online courses, awareness campaigns, and email reminders on topics, such as identifying suspicious emails, generating strong passwords, and not using public WiFi networks.”
“Common sense” cybersecurity policies take employee education a step further. Designed to reinforce lessons from employee training, such policies help employees avoid relapses into bad habits that could lead to breaches.
“Password update policies are key, but it’s also important to decide who gets access to what systems and which devices can be used to access these systems,” he said. “Additionally, if you work with contractors, you must establish a protocol to authenticate their network access and protect their devices.
“If you allow employees to use personal devices for work, establish methods to monitor, protect, encrypt and wipe those devices, if necessary.”
Even though employees have learned to adapt to remote work environments, businesses still face the threat of cyberattacks. However, with a combination of the right technology solutions and the implementation of cybersecurity best practices, businesses can better protect employees, assets, and customers from cybercriminals who are taking advantage of the pandemic.
For cybersecurity consultation, contact Comcast directly at www.business.comcast.com.