Home » Covid-19 poses biggest-ever cyber threat to businesses, tech security specialist warns

Covid-19 poses biggest-ever cyber threat to businesses, tech security specialist warns

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James Stickland of Viridium.

Covid-19 poses biggest-ever cyber threat to businesses, tech security specialist warns

The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing millions of employees to work from home. This means countless organisations are faced with a unique challenge: how to keep as many business-critical functions running as possible while maintaining adequate security.

Phishing attacks have risen an unprecedented 667 per cent in the UK compared to February[1], as malicious actors trick users via fake coronavirus alerts. Government statistics revealed that 75 per cent of large organisations were hacked in 2019, meaning this enhanced threat is all the more worrying.[2]

James Stickland, chief executive of authentication platform Veridium, said that COVID-19 is posing the largest-ever cyber security threat in recent times. He believes it has shone a light on technology, forcing enterprises to innovate; however, some companies are placing their business at risk by taking shortcuts on security measures.

Securely authenticating employees working remotely is becoming critical to business continuity, he warned.

Mr Stickland said: “What makes this situation so difficult are the timeframes. Where typical changes of this scale are planned, researched, deployed and tested over months and even years, the UK now has just weeks to overcome some very real problems.

“These circumstances, albeit challenging and worrying, indeed present a long term opportunity for businesses to reassess their security strategies. Many companies are facing increasing scrutiny over their identity verification requirements, particularly video conferencing tools which have exploded in popularity. At this current time, invoking business continuity must be prioritised – ensuring clients are serviced and secure authentication for remote employees is provided.”

Mr Stickland insisted: “Ensuring that remote workers don’t fall foul of phishing attacks when resetting passwords will be crucial for employees working from home. There has been a 667 per cent increase in funded cyberattacks on passwords, which are already the weakest link in the security trail, being responsible for over 80 per cent of data breaches.

“Software-based authentication that can be delivered remotely will be key to improving cybersecurity for home workers. Authentication measures that require passwords or PINs put pressure on already inundated or unavailable IT helpdesks through resets. More and more organisations are realising the benefits of taking a multi-factor biometric approach to security, which can efficiently safeguard sensitive employee and customer data whilst future-proofing their business.”

He declared: “The way the world works will change after this – individuals and businesses will rethink their priorities. Flexible working will be more accepted, security will matter more, and relationships will matter more. In the same way it takes a cyber-breach to invest in improving security, this pandemic will make a number of businesses overhaul their remote working strategies. It will be very interesting to see how the business and security world will change.”

Veridium says that its authentication platform enables companies to secure identity and privacy in “by proving you are who you say you are” with biometrics and your smartphone. It uses new, innovative technology like its vFace or 4 Fingers Touchless ID to ensure compliance, “whilst also providing a convenient, secure experience.”

The company says: “Our authentication platform and proprietary biometrics provide strong authentication, eliminating the need for passwords, tokens, or PINs – delivering multi factor security with single-step convenience at a lower total cost of ownership than traditional MFA solutions”

Veridium website is www.veridiumid.com.

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[1] https://www.itproportal.com/news/email-phishing-attacks-rise-667-per-cent-since-the-start-of-march/

[2] https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252480582/Almost-half-of-UK-businesses-suffered-a-cyber-attack-in-past-year

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