Leading compliance providers voice major cybersecurity concerns during COVID-19

On April 14, 2020, Gartner surveyed 145 leading legal and compliance entities, revealing that more than half of the respondents deem cybersecurity and data breaches as the most-increased third-party risk facing their organisations.

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This is primarily in response to the advent of remote-working, wherein the vast majority of organisations are seeing their workforce working from remote locations and employing a new, largely unmonitored array of third-party tools.

Arguably the most widely-adopted platform during this time, Zoom (who has skyrocketed from 10 million users to over 200 million in only 3 months), recently made the limelight for major vulnerabilities and security concerns. Considering this, it’s not hard to see why third-party apps are especially important in the current risk-conversation surrounding COVID-19.

We all have unique methods of working and our own preferred apps, which is why it’s quickly becoming a huge problem for organisations that are trying to keep up with the flood of third-party apps being used from home.

Best put by the managing vice president in Garntert Legal and Compliance, Vidhya Balasubramanian stated that “Remote working has been hastily adopted by suppliers to keep their business running, so it’s unlikely every organization or employee is following best practices.”

Cybercrime continues to be a pressing issue during this pandemic, both with COVID-19 themed scams running rampant and reported cases skyrocketing, such as Malaysia’s 82.5% increase. It’s important that as employees or business owners, we take a step back and evaluate our cyber posture.

While working from home, here are a few steps you can take to mitigate the risk from third-party apps:

  • Stick to the same apps you use at work. Company apps are often reviewed based on their security standards. By simply using a new app, you could be breaching compliance and causing risk to your company.
  • Don’t share work data over personal accounts. While it’s tempting to open up a Google Doc on our personal account or send a PDF through Facebook, these are personal accounts with lower security standards and should be treated as such.
  • Keep your apps up to date, and keep your self up to date with the media! In Zoom’s example, there are still countless users who are unaware of the security flaws on the app. The same can be said for many third-party apps. Stay aware and frequently update your software so you know what security concerns are present and whether they’ve been patched.

For more information on reducing risk and working from home, visit cyberaware.com/remote.

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