As employees around the world continue to work remotely, the number of risks that they are exposed to increases as well. Cybercriminals know how to find vulnerabilities and exploit remote workers. Reports have shown an increase in cyber attacks from 25% up to 40%. The thing is, most of this was expected when employers switched to remote working.
So what needs to be done?
In an exclusive interview with Cyber Security ASEAN, Stas Protassov, Acronis Technology President and Co-Founder said cybercriminals will attack any resource that is available and connected to the Internet. As organisations and employees become more connected, he believes the attacks will grow and become more rampant.
While every organisation is a potential target for cybercriminals, the ones that are mostly targeted are large organisations and MNCs like the UN, WHO, Facebook, Twitter, for example. These organisations also know they will be targets and are often well prepared with better protection. But even so, there have been reports of cybercrime on them as well. This includes the hacking of Twitter accounts as well as the email scams linked to WHO. Asian corporations and MNCs also face the same cyber threats as those around the world.
As remote employees are no longer protected by the firewalls and security protocols they have in their office, it becomes a totally different situation. Companies simply cannot protect or secure all homes. There are many reasons for that, especially with the home being a private space, however, Stas believes that this may change.
“Due to the situation at hand, more remote workers are at risk when they work remotely. And with some companies like Microsoft allowing their employees to work from home full-time, security will be the biggest priority. Organisations may eventually have to spend more to protect their remote working employees and even their family members”, explained Stas.
The Role of Backup
Any business that takes their backup seriously would know the age-old 3-2-1 backup rule. As such, businesses today understand that losing their data, especially to cybercriminals is equivalent to losing their entire business.
According to Stas, more than 25% of businesses that have been attacked normally do not survive the following 12 months. Companies with good backup strategies will have three copies of the data, which reside both in the cloud and on-premises. This way, the chances of losing them will be quite minimal.
“Acronis provides cyber protection where a backup is a big part of it. We connect backup to security. This is why we feel we are very relevant in these times. You need to protect yourselves not only from malware, ransomware and viruses but also be able to ensure that if you are attacked, you have another copy of data”, said Stas.
Acronis Cyber Protect is the only solution that natively integrates cybersecurity, data protection and management to protect endpoints, system and data. Which is why, with integration and automation, Acronis will be able to provide unmatched protection to increase productivity and also decreases the total cost of ownership.
Interestingly, Stas also said that some companies often end up in a dilemma whenever they become victims of ransomware. For example, when GPS tech company Garmin was breached, their services were down for some time and they ended up paying to get access back to their data. As most companies do not openly discuss their strategies, Stas felt that for Garmin, they definitely had a backup but it was not sufficient enough for them to recover.
“Perhaps the ransomware could have even affected their backup. Cybercriminals are not stupid. This is why you need to integrate your backup solution with cybersecurity for an immutable backup. We believe the integration of Cyber Protect solutions is better than traditional cyber tools. Big organisations have the right security people and know the landscape. They use multiple tools. Some large companies have between 20 to 100 security tools installed. But the problem that arises is administrating and connecting them together can be complex. The complexity only worsens the situation”, explained Stas.
The Future of Cybersecurity
Stas highlighted, “Regardless of the tools you have and use, you can be a victim of cybercrime. Your success depends purely on how fast you are able to recover from a breach and having the forensics to be able to understand the threats and preventing them”.
With increasing cyber threat vectors, humans are still the weakest part of cyber defence in any organisation. The best thing any organisation can do is to train their employees and this is where Acronis’s CyberFit Academy comes in.
Launched at the Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020, the CyberFit Academy is a new training and certification program designed to deliver valuable insights to channel partners in how to position, sell and deploy the cyber protection solutions that modern organisations seek. Acronis aims to train a million users in the next 12 to 24 months.
The future of cybersecurity will see more machine-learning and Artificial Intelligence based solutions fight newer malware and zero-day vulnerabilities. However, Stas felt that at most times, companies have the false impression that if they have new generation security solutions, it will help them against all zero-day vulnerabilities. This is not true as any solution can and will fail eventually at some point.
“Acronis is able to stop all the latest ransomware. For example, if Garmin had used us, we would have been able to stop their attack. But having said that, there will be attacks in the future that we may fail to detect. However, the beauty of Acronis is that, even if it fails, our software will make a decision to make another copy of your data. Even if you’re hit, you will have a copy of your data which is seconds old, helping you to recover much faster”, said Stas.
Stas strongly believes that targeted attacks will continue to increase as more cybercriminals look to benefit from this. The cybercrime industry is expected to be a trillion-dollar industry in the next few years and the prerogative for organisations is ensuring all their systems and applications are well protected.
He added that information sharing is also important. Currently, all major vendors constantly participate in information exchange on any incident and new attacks. This will only help protect customers and partners better. Acronis will definitely continue doing this and all major vendors, be it security and non-security, will have to continue as well as cybercrime is a major threat to everyone.
An interesting point made by Stas just as we were about to end our conversation was regarding the edge. As the role of the edge becomes bigger, solutions that can protect edge workloads become extremely important. Acronis is already focusing on the edge and will continue to focus on cyber protection on the edge. Add that with the possibilities of 5G, Stas believes the entire industry is going to see a big change.
The video below explains how cybersecurity will be redefined by workloads on the edge and 5G.