Article   August 09 2023

Post-vacation backlog, remote work and IoT are new potential cyberthreats

Back from vacation with a big e-mail backlog? Ending summer by working remotely? With a mix of private and company connected devices? This could mean an increased cyberthreat.

Information security
Laptop computer with multiple post-its on the screen

Image: (license free)

E-mails not only remain as a top threat vector. Attackers are also carrying out more e-mail attacks than ever before. Last year phishing attacks increased by 61% compared to the year before and when attackers use legitimate cloud services, attacks are becoming harder to detect.

And it’s even harder for someone rushing through a post-vacation backlog. 

The good news: according to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report basic security hygiene still protects against 98% of all attacks. 

Remote work and unprotected devices

The new hybrid work life often allows a smooth transition from vacation to office routines when many of us are ending summer by working remotely. This often also means a mix in use of company and private devices. Very convenient. But also, a potential increased cyberthreat.

According to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report, on average 3,500 connected devices in a company are unprotected. And users with unprotected devices are 71% more likely to be infected.

Cybersecurity experts are of course aware that their organizations need to improve endpoint visibility and security. But everyone working remotely also needs to be more aware - all year round. 

IoT devices – new cyberattack targets 

By 2025 there will be 41 billion connected devices in the world according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Internet of things (IoT) is really a driver in todays’ digitalization. But it’s also the most overlooked cyber-attack vector. 

With increased security on company routers and networks, IoT devices become the new target for cyberattacks. Both in companies and in private homes. According to The State of IoT/OT Cybersecurity in the Enterprise” 6 out of 10 security experts say IoT is the least secured part of their IT infrastructure. 

Obviously, many organizations need to improve their IoT-security. But everyone enjoying connected devices while working remotely from home also needs to be more aware of this potential cybersecurity vulnerability. 

Thanks to digitalization and a hybrid work life, coming back to work after vacation doesn’t have to come as a sharp shock anymore. In order for this to maintain a smooth transition – we also need to be aware of the potential cybersecurity threats that this might entail.  

Per Lagerström
Article   August 09 2023