Why remote working has made cyber resilience crucial for future business success

IT professionals in data centre monitoring screens of information

Business has evolved rapidly in the last few months, and remote working is one of the many changes which seem set to stay. But while we take advantage of new opportunities, so too are cyber-attackers.

Our professional lives have changed forever. And while we may have lost some of the camaraderie of a shared office space, we’ve gained all the benefits of agile and remote working.

But our new-found flexibility comes at a cost. Businesses must rapidly adapt to changes in order to provide the digital infrastructure and processes we now require.

And until all the right pieces are in place to ensure cyber resilience, we are at increased risk of attack.

What is cyber resilience?

This is a term used to describe your organisation’s ability to identify, prevent, detect and respond to the technological and process-related consequences of a cyber-attack.

It also relates to your organisation’s ability to recover from those consequences. As well as minimise any negative impact on your customers, reputation and finances.

Why is cyber resilience vital to business success?

Because cyber resilience is directly correlated to business resilience. The ability of your organisation to maintain business-critical processes if devices or workflows are disrupted, including by cyber-attack.

But cyber-attacks don’t just affect time and productivity. The average days of downtime due to ransomware outbreaks in Q2 2020 alone was 16 days. This could end up costing you a lot of money. The most damaging, disruptive and by far the costliest cyber threat that can hit you is ransomware, and it is imperative to stop any outbreak as quickly as possible.

If you don’t, the only two options are to pay the ransom or go through the expensive process of restoring and rebuilding your IT environment.

How do I know there’s been a ransomware attack?

It’s a good question. Sometimes an organisation might not know if there has been a ransomware outbreak until months after the initial infection. By which time huge amounts of your data will be inaccessible and under the control of cyber criminals.

But there are some signs an individual might be able to spot on their own devices which indicate an attack has occurred, including:

  • Unresponsive systems
  • Documents, data, photo and files encrypted
  • Changed filenames
  • Unable to access data
  • Screens locked

If any of these things occur, your people should notify their IT administrators immediately.

Perhaps you would like to see an example of how an attack plays out in realtime – if so watch this video demonstration.

What steps can we take to protect ourselves against cyber-attacks?

Where once our IT managers only had to concern themselves with securing centralised locations, with servers, staff and hardware all situated under one roof, they must now consider how to proactively protect your people across multiple locations and devices with improved cyber resilience across the business.

Watch out for phishing scams

Phishing attacks involve hackers sending seemingly legitimate and deceptive emails to your people, which include malicious links and attachments. Once your employee clicks that link or downloads a malicious attachment, the ransomware outbreak has been initiated.

As we now rely almost exclusively on digital communications, we’re more vulnerable than ever to fall for these tricks.

Educate your employees

Carrying out virtual training – such as phishing simulations – can be a great way to improve your organisation’s security. Have your IT teams educate your people on what to look out for – such as suspicious phishing emails and malware – and on what to do if a cyber-attack does take place.

It is then a great idea to follow up these sessions with regular reminders to keep your people on their guard. But no matter how much training and education you do, people will still make mistakes – it’s all about reducing risk.

Establish a last line of defence

If your people do make a mistake, or if any of your existing security solutions fail, you will need to have a last line of defence in place.

For cyber resilience, this comes in the form of a containment solution. Just as white blood cells rush to the scene of infection in your body. Containment solutions instantly identify and shut down ransomware outbreaks at the source.

Ricoh Cyber Security Practice

Working with a collaborative partner is a fantastic way to fortify your business against the risk of cyber-attack. By taking advantage of their experience and expertise you can build cyber resilience and ensure continuity.

Read our guide Cyber Security

Ricoh’s Cyber Security Practice provides a revolutionary “Last Line of Defence”. It delivers a 24/7 automated containment solution focused on stopping a ransomware outbreak as soon as encryption starts.

If you’d like to hear our experts share insights and discuss how best to secure your data and remote workers at a time of increasing cyber-attacks, have a listen to our webinar.

Steve Timothy

Cyber Security Expert at Ricoh UK & Ireland

Read all articles by Steve Timothy