Andy Green, Chief Information Security Officer at Gemserv recently spoke to the Irish Times about how the pandemic has impacted cybercrime and what businesses must do to lower risks.
Andy Green, Chief Information Security Officer at Gemserv and Cloud Security Influencer of the Year winner at the Cyber Security Awards 2020, saw immediately the ways in which the pandemic impacted cybercrime.
“What was quite amazing was the speed at which criminals adapted to Covid messaging”, he says. Many moved swiftly to try and defraud industry and even the healthcare sector as organisations looked to secure personal protective equipment.
In the main however, organisations that had good remote working technologies in place, tested before the pandemic, are at broadly similar level of risk from cybercrime now as they were then.
For others, working from home has increased the cyber risk. “Previously people connected to their colleagues within the network, knowing that anything within it was secure,” he says. When communications cross that boundary, they become insecure, creating “a significant area of risk”.
Outside of the safety of a secure corporate network or VPN, sending an email is akin to “sending a postcard without an envelope,” he cautions.
The good news is that much of what is required is inexpensive or even free. “It includes ensuring you have a firewall on your router, and that it is turned on, as well as a firewall on your device – such as Windows Defender,” he advises.
Next, make sure devices are configured to switch off services that are not required, such as Wi-Fi. Mobile device management software allows companies to check the configuration of users’ devices, says Green.
Ensure two-factor authentication, use anti malware software such as AVG, which is free, and make sure your operating software, and that of any third party apps on your phone, plus patches, are all kept up to date.
“Research from the UK government indicates that if these five fundamental steps were taken 80% of cyber activity would be prevented,” he says.
To read the full article on the Irish Times website please click below.