The trending topic that is competing against the current pandemic, is the vicious cyberattacks that have stemmed from the vulnerability of COVID-19, allowing hackers to target people using technology for health services, business conferencing and general e-commerce.

Fortunately, there are strategies and practical steps, businesses, management, and workers can take to help reduce the impact of heightened cyber risk to their organisation.

A recent 2019 Report explores vital issues in data security and has identified the considerable threat that the growth of IoT poses to businesses of all kinds. With an estimated 29 billion connected devices by 2022, we must understand the problem that these devices pose.

The weakest link

  1. Australian businesses reported not to be updating their security, with 89 per cent having had breaches go undetected, up 12 per cent since 2018. Many decision-makers are not making use of today's technology, with only 43% reporting to be updating their security systems.
  2. Human vulnerability, phishing schemes are frightening employees into exposing confidential data and providing ransom money in hope to eliminate any threats received. 

As this technology continues to disrupt industries, the mad sprint to stay connected is arriving at the expense of security.

A study referenced in the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, found that 83 per cent of IoT devices now carry critical vulnerabilities, and this weakness is an open door for an attack.

Many businesses fail to realise a high proportion of internet-enabled devices don't have in-built security.


  1. Companies should look to employ basic endpoint security features like anti-malware, intrusion prevention, and antivirus to secure networks against the barrage of attack. 
  2. Device authentication for IoT devices. Digital certificates or two-factor authentication ensure nobody can gain unauthorised entry to a device. 
  3. Increase awareness among the workforce regarding the risks of handling confidential or sensitive information when working remotely by being proactive in communicating and coaching teams on organisational policies and the best "dos and don'ts."

Employees need to be aware of the heightened cybersecurity risks of remote working. Businesses using cloud-based communication need to ensure their chosen provider has high-level security to safeguard your data and communications remain safe. RingCentral gives you added peace of mind by instituting robust security measures at every level of our architecture and processes. These include the physical, network, host, data, application, and business processes, as well as the enterprise level of your organisation.

React quickly to this "new normal" by reassessing risks and ensuring that detection, response, and mitigation efforts are aligned accordingly. Review the security status of the most critical third-party suppliers and vendors and be prepared to strengthen oversight. Tighten security controls across the highest risk areas, and apply tactical controls to mitigate increased insider threats by rogue or naïve employees.

Rapidly test the readiness of management, security, and the organisation more broadly for this new way of operating. Examine preparedness levels by running drills for the primary cyber risks that recognise new constraints, practices, and procedures (such as working remotely) and with potentially fewer resources and less expertise available.