COVID-19 Update

Remote Work and the Future of Cybersecurity Threats

Companies will have to prepare for the hybrid work model and the cybersecurity threats that will come with it.

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VentureBeat executive editor, Fahmida Y Rashid held a discussion with Vint Cerf, chief internet evangelist at Google, as part of the Transform 2021 virtual conference where the pair covered the topic of cybersecurity threats and how it relates to remote work. Cerf has been working on the internet for over 50 years and even he could not have predicted how big of a role it would come to play in modern society.

“The surprise for me was the amount of content people pushed into the internet,” says Cerf in a VentureBeat article. “It was just enormous amounts of information sharing — not to make any money, it was simply to know that something you knew was useful to someone else.”

Related: If Your AV Integrator Isn’t Talking to You About Cybersecurity, Walk Away!

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, companies will have to prepare for the hybrid work model and the security threats that will come with it. Cerf pointed out the following five things to be mindful of:

There is a difference between securing enterprise users and general public users

Cerf says that IT departments can monitor activity on company networks and devices, but not always on personal devices or public networks.

Conversely, being on the company network does not mean everything is safe

Virtual private networks also are not perfect because there are too many potential vulnerabilities in residential settings.

Strong authentication is essential for cybersecurity threats

Cerf encourages IT departments to identify the devices and the individuals using them as personal authentication and authenticating devices is crucial for a secure hybrid work system.

User education remains important for cybersecurity threats

This means that IT departments need to educate users about the potential risks and how to identify them. Cerf says links in emails from users with misspelled names is an example of how to identify these threats along with other avenues for hazardous material.

IT departments must recognize that bad things will happen and be ready to handle them

Log and audit information to track where the breach came from, be mindful of malware, and monitor incoming traffic to reduce problems.

As result, the VentureBeat article goes on to insist that companies buy into zero trust, or the philosophy that companies do not trust anything inside or outside their network, as even the most intelligent internet users can fall victim to phishing scams and need to be educated on how to avoid hackers.

Cerf and Rashid both stated in the conversation that cryptographic systems like two-factor authentication are great ways to stay secure.

Companies should also apply these practices in the office as the corporate network can also become compromised.

Cerf sees internet coverage being heavily expanded to rural areas in 2021 with increased 5G, and if companies employ these security practices, they can avoid cybersecurity threats.