Pub. 1 2020 Issue 6 6 In Touch A s a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a marked shift in how we work and use technology to stay connected and execute business. Many institutions are managing remote workforces while navigating the pandemic’s ongoing effects, leading to a variety of challenges, including addressing cybersecurity threats. Understanding the Risks There is a variety of cybersecurity risks for financial institutions to combat, including: • Phishing: As many employees transitioned to remote work in early 2020, phishing scams skyrocketed, with attackers targeting personal email accounts in an attempt to compromise home networks. • Malware: Cyber attackers are leveraging malware to obtain usernames, passwords and payment card information stored in a user’s browser. According to security vendor Carbon Black, attacks targeting the financial sector have increased by 238% from February to April 2020. • IT Falling Behind: A recent Aite report noted that IT departments are often short-handed and are now responding to remote work environments’ challenges, leading to increased maintenance backlogs and slow response times. • Business Email Compromise (BEC): The FBI issued a warning in early 2020 regarding a spike in BEC scams, which involve a criminal sending an email and imitating the owner’s identity, such as a company executive or recognized vendor. How to Enhance Security for Your Remote Workforce To defend against the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, consider the following tips to secure your institution’s workforce. 1. Provide Secure Internet Access While providing employees with virtual private network (VPN) access will help mitigate cyber threats, there are risks associated with employees using their home networks for business when not connected to VPN. Security solutions that protect your network and users but do not interfere with business activities are priorities. Encourage employees to address the following questions to reduce the penetrability of home networks: • What is the quality of your home network? • Does your home network still have the default password? • How old is the router? • What protocols is it running? • Do your personal devices have up-to-date malware and virus protection, the latest security patches and updated third-party software installed? 8 WAYS TO ENHANCE SECURITY FOR YOUR REMOTE WORKFORCE BY STEVEN WARD, CSI A s s o c i a t e M e m b e r