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Staff working from home are companies’ ‘biggest weakness’ in fight against cybercrime, bosses warn | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


  • Employees working from home often lack up-to-date security on their laptops 



Bosses warn staff still working from home is their ‘biggest weakness’ when trying to defend against cyberattacks.

Employees refusing to come into the office often do not have up-to-date security on their laptops for weeks or even months.

It is leaving businesses increasingly vulnerable to hackers, who are holding them to ransom and stealing sensitive customer data.

Absolute Security’s annual report found nearly half of UK firms have been hit by a ransomware attack over the past year.

Cyberattacks have more than doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the IMF, as people began to work from home (stock image)
Two NHS hospital trusts in London declared a critical incident after a cyberattack led to operations being cancelled and emergency patients being diverted elsewhere(stock image)

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Published this week, the survey asked 250 executives in charge of their organisation’s cyber security where the problem lay.

Three in four respondents singled out remote working, which they said had ‘complicated’ their ability to protect their company.

Cyberattacks have more than doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the IMF, as people began to work from home.

Experts suggest staff who do so are picking up bad cybersecurity habits, such as using personal email which are usually easier to hack.

The cost of such breaches can be ‘immeasurable’, the report says, from damaging their reputation to costing potentially millions of pounds to put right.

It can also have a direct impact on the British public, including exposing customer credit card details and disrupting critical services.

Just yesterday, two NHS hospital trusts in London declared a critical incident after a cyberattack led to operations being cancelled and emergency patients being diverted elsewhere.

A new report by cybersecurity firm McAfee says it has seen an average of 375 new threats per minute during the pandemic. Stock image
Absolute Security’s annual report found nearly half of UK firms have been hit by a ransomware attack over the past year (stock image)

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The UK’s cyber watchdog has warned AI will likely drive even more cyber attacks over the next two years, which will become increasingly sophisticated.

Despite the danger, the report found over half – 54 per cent – felt their security team were unprepared for the fast-evolving AI-powered threats.

It further revealed nearly half of firms had slashed their cybersecurity budget over the past year.

Andy Ward, vice president for International at Absolute Security, said: ‘Ransomware and state-sponsored attacks are increasingly on the rise, both of which are a case of when, not if.

‘Now, more than ever, organisations need a robust cyber resilience strategy in place to respond and recover from attacks when they happen.

‘It jeopardises jobs, causes significant financial and reputation damage, and potentially even heaps personal liability on security leaders.’

Sarah Cooper-Lesadd, Tory parliamentary candidate for Coventry East said: ‘The growing volume of cyber attacks is one of the biggest challenges facing UK businesses.

‘A successful data breach can do immense damage to ambitious companies, so it’s vital much more is done to support and protect entrepreneurs from these threats.’

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