GRC Viewpoint

Covid-induced WFH Culture Drives U.S Surge in Enterprise Security Challenges

Enterprise security leaders have always been under tremendous pressure to make sure the systems function effortlessly, scale as per demand and are able to cope with the ever-increasing security issues and regulatory requisites. However, the ongoing pandemic is forcing security experts to implement a revised and strategic approach towards ensuring seamless functioning of the systems.  In 2021 experts are facing newer and more challenges than ever before owing to the pandemic-induced situation.

It would be tough to discuss security challenges in 2021 without mentioning   the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus has altered most of the ways of the world. From an organizational standpoint, prevalence of work from home culture is the most significant change. Numerous challenges emerge amidst the attempts to bring the complete workforce online. Let’s take a look at some of the critical challenges that require immediate attention.

It is now known that covid virus is here to stay. Also, majority of US companies are likely to continue work from home for at least a year, says reports.

Hackers are switching tactics and leveraging corona-related fears among employees working from home. Besides concerns of safety, the pressure on the IT Team is enormous in the wake of these new issues to tackle. 

According to a detailed survey by the ManageEngine, more than 80% of IT experts in the U.S are of the opinion that remote working has enhanced challenges in the enterprise security space. A direct consequence is the increased cloud solutions usage. ManageEngine is the enterprise information technology management section of Zoho Corporation. The survey, published as the ‘2021 Digital Readiness Survey’, also found that about 74% agree that there has been a surge in the use of cloud-based solutions as a direct impact of the corona virus pandemic.  

The survey also throws light into the other concerns disrupting the contemporary enterprise security space. 

Phishing seems to the most occurring threat, followed by endpoint network attacks and malware issues. Social-media attacks and account hijacking seem to be the other prominent effects of the dominant WFH culture.

Phishing fails to be a recent hacking method, but how it is performed has changed and became highly advanced. Nowadays, majority of these hacking methods rely on telephonic calls or messaging services. The basic feature remains the same, impersonating existing sources and creating a scenario wherein sensitive information is revealed. 

There was around 220% increase in the occurrence of phishing incidents when the pandemic was at its peak compared to the average annual value. Phishing is an easy form of hacking to extract organizational data. Employees often tend to believe that access to these are only provided to genuine users, which mostly is not true. 

Coming to over usage of cloud, Covid-19 has led to a sudden and massive increase in cloud adoption in the U.S and other regions across multiple industries.

Without cloud, it would be impossible to establish business continuity enabled by endless online collaboration with the remote workforce.

Ransomware attacks are also showing an upward trend. This is mainly because they have a better success rate. It is imperative to implement a strategic and proactive plan to deal with ransomware to safeguard sensitive materials. 

The increased usage of cloud has contributed to the increase in ransomware. Also, compared to 2015 and 2016, the attack incidents have almost tripled. The amount involved in such attacks has also increased.  

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