Securing employee endpoint devices, including laptops and smartphones, will be critical in 2021 as more and more companies will continue work from home, according to Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, a cybersecurity solutions provider.
Check Point notes that around three-quarters of organisations it has surveyed plan to transition employees to work remotely permanently, and do not expect them to return to pre-COVID operations. What this also means is that these employees could be more prone than ever to cyber attacks and companies will need to ensure security for their devices.
Increased risk of cyber attacks
Around 97% of organisations in 2020 were a victim of mobile threats that used multiple attack vectors. According to Check Point’s 2021 Mobile Security Report, 46 per cent of enterprises had at least one employee who downloaded a malicious mobile app.
Cyber-criminals are aware of employees working remotely having to rely on mobile devices more than ever, and they are actively targeting enterprises with new attacks.
As more people are working remotely, they seem to be more prone to cyber-attacks. In 2020, hackers conducted thread hijacking attacks on remote workers to steal data or infiltrate networks using the Emotet and Qbot trojans, which impacted 24% of organisations globally. Attacks against remote access systems also increased sharply.
One thing to note is that outdated devices may be more at risk for these kinds of attacks. The vulnerabilities recently discovered in the Microsoft Exchange server give an insight into how critical it is for enterprises to update their softwares regularly to protect themselves against attacks that exploit flaws.
As more and more employees are working from home remotely, this makes this more challenging than ever before. According to Check Point’s Achilles research, at least 40 per cent of the world’s mobile devices are inherently vulnerable to cyberattacks due to flaws in their chipsets.