The remote and hybrid workforce has expanded dramatically over the past two-plus years – with the number of employees working from home increasing at a rapid rate. But as businesses have adjusted to support a remote or hybrid workforce, cyberthreats continue to be a persistent and complex problem.
Comcast Business knows first-hand that the security landscape remains challenging. While this year has seen a number of high-profile cyberattacks, attackers don’t discriminate by size. Like their larger counterparts, small businesses have valuable data and financial resources that threat actors often target. In fact, more than half of small businesses have suffered at least one security incident, according to Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Business Aftermath Report.
Fortunately, research indicates that organizations are investing in cybersecurity to address the challenges of protecting against a growing threat profile and in remote or hybrid IT operations to support an expanded workforce. Many businesses have also found that having good security solutions in place not only protects from threats and breaches, which could be costly due to outages and remediation, but helps their brand stand out.
One such cybersecurity solution is Comcast Business SecurityEdge™, which helps protect users and all their connected devices against threats such as malware, ransomware, phishing and botnets. Over the past year, SecurityEdge blocked tens of millions of threats and helped protect tens of thousands of small businesses. SecurityEdge also comes with a 24/7 customer service line if businesses come across an issue, plus it features advanced global threat intelligence powered by Akamai and is updated every five minutes.
Just in time for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Comcast Business has shared the following best practices that when coupled with a comprehensive security solution, businesses can implement to build their cybersecurity resilience:
- Know the cloud footprint. The use of cloud resources is very convenient, but oftentimes when a campaign is over, organizations forget to disable the application, which means it’s still available and could be an outlet to threat. It’s important that organizations are aware of their cloud footprint to ensure unused applications are removed. This added level of scrutiny and validation ensures businesses and customers aren’t vulnerable to leaky, unused cloud apps that could cause a potential customer data breach.
- Get in front of threats to stop them before disruption is caused. Phishing and ransomware remain the biggest threats to businesses of all sizes, and this has only increased over recent years. This can impact a business’s ability to serve customers online, transact with supply chain partners or interact with employees. And these prolonged disruptions lead to loss. Having security in place to block these are essential and can allow businesses to stop threats before they get to the customer and prevent potentially costly interruptions.
- Provide secure network access. Advanced security services or Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls can be provisioned, configured and supported remotely without requiring physical changes in the telecom closet through virtual network functions. By doing so, businesses can be more agile and are able to bring advanced security functions and services closer to the edge of a distributed network. This also supports secure access directly to the internet to reduce overhead on data center capacity and optimize their distributed investment.
- Implement advanced tools. Because cyberattacks have become increasingly sophisticated and diverse, businesses require a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity. To support this, businesses should assess their network’s strengths and weaknesses, then implement the right combination of tools that work best for their needs. This may include an antivirus program, multifactor authentication for employees or network security to proactively protect devices that connect to the network.
- Offer education and resources to employees. Cybersecurity solutions and tools are only effective when employees are educated and able to complement them. Especially during this time of remote work, ongoing employee education and a culture centered around customer and data privacy is more critical than ever. A mixed approach of online courses, awareness campaigns and email reminders on security tips can help reinforce this.
Robust cybersecurity is no longer a nice-to-have – it is essential for businesses of all sizes. As organizations across Northwest Indiana and beyond continue to adapt to hybrid or remote work environments, a combination of the right technology solutions and the implementation of cybersecurity best practices will allow them to better protect employees, assets and customers from the increases in attacks.