Working from Home Could Increase Risk of Cybersecurity Threats

June 30, 2021 | 3 minutes read

2020 will always be remembered for the challenges it brought, not only in terms of global health crisis, but also for the disruptions it caused in the world of cybersecurity.

Cyber incidents spiraled upwards as more cybercriminals targeted colleges, healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and even subway systems.

According to the Canada’s Chamber of Commerce, the cybersecurity measures need to be upgraded to keep cyberattacks at bay.

“A cyberattack can happen to anyone at any time,” said Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

According to a research conducted by the Chamber, 65% Canadians believe that their digital systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks and 80% Canadian executives were worried about cyberattacks as a growing threat to businesses. As an attempt to fill in the gaps in cybersecurity, “Cyber. Right. Now.” has been launched recently, to connect 28 tech companies including Microsoft, Blueberry and Ciso to further boost the issue up on the national agenda.

“The Chamber has been seizing the momentum and this has been an important issue for a long time, so let’s bring it under one umbrella and at the same time show we can be a global leader,” said Bahr-Gedalia.

Cyber incidents increased by 6.6% in 2020

Moreover, it was also found through research that as compared to 2019, there was a 6.6% increase in cyber-incidents 2020, and every one out of 4 businesses expressed that it was  “somewhat” or “extremely” to adopt new technologies.

“There are three key areas Canada must improve upon. First, investment in innovation; second, workforce and talent pipeline expansion and diversification; and third, Canada’s global competitiveness.” said Bahr-Gedalia.

The number of cyber attacks in Canada have been spiking at a fast pace. In 2019, 15 million data files of Lifelabs customers were lost to a data breach, which were later recovered after a ransom was paid to the hackers. Several other security breaches resulted in companies having to pay huge ransoms to get the files back.

 Most of hacks begin with an email

Majority of the times, cyber attacks are carried out by sending out an email with an attachment or link that contains a virus. People working from home need to be cautious not to open any suspicious email to protect themselves and their company against hackers.

“The minute we hit the keyboard this is when the risks start so we need to be educated on an ongoing basis. Something as simple as when it comes to passwords, or links or when you’re looking an URL, is it really the one you want before clicking on it?” said Bahr-Gedalia

Even with the strongest cyber security measures in place, one avoidable mistake by an employee can allow a hacker into the company’s system. To reduce the cybersecurity risks of working from home,  employees need to stay vigilant and get educated about security measures.