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Defending Yourself Against Cyber AttacksDefending Yourself Against Cyber Attacks

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In the past year our lives have changed drastically.  Whether it was how we interacted with friends and family, went to school or executed our various areas of work; change was evident. In 2020, over 62% of the American workforce ditched their commute for a 9 to 5 from the comfort and safety of their own home.   Passwordless security is here to the rescue to support the work from home revolution.

It is safe to say that this quick transition wasn’t exactly planned and because of that this change has brought concerns in the realm of cyber security.  Hackers took advantage of this particular situation and increased cyber attacks against work from home employees by five times in comparison to in the office. 

The FBI clocked a 300% increase in reported cyber crimes. Phishing increased by 600%, ransomware attacks by 148%, and malware attacks by 128%.  These attacks were made incredibly easy due to the situation work from home employees found themselves in. 

Overnight these employees were told to pack up their office and move home until further notice.  Companies simply had no contingency plan on how to handle this situation and were grappling with how to handle it. 

This prompted work from home employees to have to use their personal devices and home wifi networks to carry out their duties.  These devices that they used were already compromised and left companies very vulnerable to not only regular hacking but the increased volume that had spurred due to the pandemic. 

This meant that highly confidential company information was easily obtainable to an average hacker.  Combined with an employee only using their home WiFi connections, dtaa was readily available for any hacker to take. 

One of the biggest challenges for the work from home movement was the ability to connect a group of employees for collaboration.  At the beginning of the movement, many companies turned to the video conferencing platform Zoom. 

While this platform solved the issue of the collaboration, it was also highly unstable and allowed for a phenomenon called “Zoom Bombing” to occur.  This happens when an unauthorized person accesses the video conference who does not have the specified credentials. 

There are many things that work from home employees can do to protect themselves from these cyber attacks.  One thing is to always be suspicious of emails that you do not recognize. These emails could be trojan horse viruses, or phishing scams. 

Another thing is to download antivirus software. This can help protect you and your company from volatile cyberattacks.  Antivirus software is one of the best ways that you can help arm yourself against hackers. 

Make sure that you are also following your company’s security protocols. Over 75% of the work from home population admit to not following the explicit security instructions. This is a huge problem as it leaves an already vulnerable target wide open. 

 At the end of the day remote work does not seem to be disappearing any time soon. It is important to make sure that you and your company are protected against cyber attacks at all costs. 

CEO of Penske Media Group. Experienced Content Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper industry. Spoken on stages around the globe - NYU, US Embassy, P&G Toronto, and much more.

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