Why cyber security is even more important in the wake of Covid-19

Joe A. J. Beaumont Headshot
Joe A. J. Beaumont
Chief Security Evangelist
27th March 2020

Facing new security challenges

Covid-19 is causing myriad challenges for businesses, with remote working, diverted priorities and a general scramble to maintain business-as-usual operations. This is unprecedented in UK industry, and presents a range of challenges and opportunities. In particular, hackers now have more time on their nefarious hands and a whole host of new targets in front of them, in the form of a large number of working-from-home employees. With questions over the levels of education around remote working security, and organisations having less security oversight and more compromises in working practices, it’s clear that it is more vital than ever to step up your cyber security in these challenging times.

It may be surprising to learn that many cyber security services can be delivered remotely. As part of our commitment to flexibility, Bulletproof has been pioneering this kind of flexible service delivery for years, including engineering new technology solutions. We’ve already covered the basics of secure remote working, but let’s look even further and discover what a business can do to stay secure during the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s clear that it is more vital than ever to step up your cyber security in these challenging times

Here are the top 3 areas your business needs to focus on to prevent a data breach and the resulting financial and reputational loss:

  1. 1

    Security Awareness Training

    Training often gets overlooked, but good security training is a secret superweapon, and is number one on this list for a reason. Let me explain by first laying out the threats. We’ve already detected several phishing campaigns using coronavirus-themed messaging in an attempt to exploit people’s fears and uncertainties around the current situation. In addition, employees who are not used to regularly working from home are unlikely to be following the same security procedures and best practices in this new environment. And with all the fast-paced changes, security is unlikely to be at the top of people’s agendas.

    This adds up to a perilous situation, with hackers thriving on an uneducated workforce. A cyber criminal’s best trick is to get a human to make an error, as even the most advanced technical cyber defences can be undone by a simple user action – like clicking a malicious link in an email, or opening a malware-laden attachment.

    Security Awareness Training

    This makes your staff your first, and potentially your best line of cyber defence. A well-trained workforce can stop all but the most advanced, dedicated and well-resourced cyber attacks. And with the majority of hackers looking for an easy target, the simple step of training your workforce means you drastically improve your security posture. On the other side of the coin, if your employees aren’t clued-up on cyber security, their actions (or lack thereof) will open doors for a variety of hacks and costly data breaches. As the UK’s Covid-19 response means entire workforces are suddenly working from home with reduced security oversight, now is definitely the time to invest in your best line of defence.

    Implementing high-quality training for a physically remote workforce is easier than you might think. Bulletproof have an easy-to-use portal that has a range of engaging, informative cyber training videos. Topics covered includes BYOD, Remote Working, Email Security, Password Security, Safe Browsing, and more. Plus, portal-based delivery means it can be accessed by your employees from any location and fit around flexible working patterns. With competitive pricing and proven content, Bulletproof Security Awareness Training will maximise your staff vigilance and drastically reduce your cyber risk.

The simple step of training your workforce means you drastically improve your security posture
  1. 2

    Penetration testing

    Regular penetration testing has been part of business-as-usual operations for years – and with good reason. As one of the most essential cyber defences it’s vital that it continues, and Bulletproof has already seen a rise in the volume of testing, despite the operational changes necessitated by the UK coronavirus response.

    Chances are that your business won’t be able to operate and react at full capacity when it comes to remediating security issues. This makes penetration testing more valuable than ever. Your business needs a considered hitlist of your most critical vulnerabilities so you can make maximum security gains with minimal input. Thanks to Bulletproof’s comprehensive reports, that’s exactly what Bulletproof penetration testing provides.

    Penetration testing is routinely conducted remotely, so it’s not impacted by closed offices and working from home. Thanks to Bulletproof’s focus on innovation and technology, even internal/authenticated penetration tests can be delivered remotely. Now’s the time to find and fix your most critical security flaws before a hacker does.

    Penetration testing Training
  1. 3

    Office 365 Security Healthcheck

    As we’ve already discussed, remote working is now the default for many organisations’ entire workforce. Consequently, there’s been a sharp rise in the adoption of Microsoft Office 365. Considering that this new way of working was implanted by businesses in a hurry as part of the UK’s response to Covid-19, there’s often been little time to prepare. This means there is a large scope for cyber security flaws, both procedural and technical, including Office 365’s cloud-based risks that many organisations simply aren’t aware of.

    There’s a common misconception that Office 365, and other cloud technologies, are inherently secure because they’re ‘in the cloud’. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Outsourced service is not outsourced security responsibility. With so many configuration options, an organisation could easily unwittingly create security vulnerabilities in their Office 365 environment, plus there are desktop and mobile apps to keep updated.

    Office 365 Security Healthcheck

    That’s why Bulletproof are offering an Office 365 Security Healthcheck. Along with our expertise in managing Office 365, our consultants take all the best practices and lessons learnt from our years of implementing Cyber Essentials, ISO 27001, PCI DSS & GDPR. We’ll conduct a thorough overview of both your Office 365 strategy and technical configuration. With 91 checks across 6 core areas, we’ll assess your O365 setup to identify areas of improvement, ultimately making the hackers’ job harder and reducing the chance of compromise.

    Even if you think you’re well-prepared for remote working via Office 365, it’s wise to get independent validation from security experts. Bulletproof will ensure you remain secure as well as productive.

With 91 checks across 6 core areas, we’ll assess your O365 setup to identify areas of improvement

Supporting cyber security during Covid-19

Even in the face of a global pandemic, hackers aren’t stopping their assault. They’re leveraging the uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting operational and technological confusion to exploit your security weaknesses. With remote delivery of so many cyber security services available, there’s no excuse to give the cyber criminals a chance. Learn more about how Bulletproof can help your cyber defences keep up with the latest threats through this challenging time by calling us on 01438 500 500, or emailing contact@bulletproof.co.uk.

On demand webinar:

Covid-19: The Race to Remote Security

Hear from our cyber security evangelist and Co-Founder, Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, who shares advice and top tips on the best ways to harden your remote work environment. You can also hear the answers to some frequently asked questions from IT and security teams dealing with the challenges of new home working practices.

Watch the Webinar

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