As businesses around the world have adjusted their working practices to accommodate the exponential rise in remote workers, so have hackers and cyber-criminals.
It’s safe to say that without cloud-based file sharing and collaboration solutions, many businesses would have struggled to communicate effectively over the past 3 months. Amidst signs that the COVID-19 virus is being contained, remote workers are being plagued by a massive increase in malware attacks. Specifically, bad actors are targeting the enterprise collaboration solutions organisations have come to depend upon.
IT security bloggers, content contributors and researchers alike have reported on two significant security issues that have arisen in recent months. First, the ramping up of hacking and malware attacks designed to target a workforce that is not used to working remotely. Second, a corresponding admission amongst IT security professionals that they were not adequately prepared to combat the volume and variety of threats they have had to face.
The sudden dependence on enterprise file-sharing and collaboration tools has exposed some potential security weaknesses amongst popular applications and a lack of flexibility or user-friendliness amongst others. The challenge for many collaboration tools is that they were built from a convenience first point of view, not a security first one. The ability to share any file type, with anyone, anywhere looses its appeal if it lacks the peace of mind that comes from knowing your files are secure. The second point is just as potentially damaging, as users will eschew mandated solutions in favour of more convenient, and more risky, alternatives.
Best practice for file sharing and collaboration needs to strike a balance between usability and security. Of course, it is also incumbent upon remote workers to demonstrate best practice too. Don’t open or share suspicious attachments and don’t use insecure, public services to exchange sensitive information.