Hacker warning for businesses with employees working from home

IT security experts are warning businesses to take steps to combat hackers as working from home becomes more common during the Covid-19 pandemic.

TruStack, based in Cramlington, specialises in Agile Working Solutions and Cybersecurity and has enabled hundreds of organisations to work from home during the recent lockdowns.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show a quarter of all employees are currently working from home (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/latest#social-impacts-of-the-coronavirus-on-great-britain), but this number could increase if more areas are put under tighter regulations in the coming months.

Now TruStack’s experts have warned that many businesses may not realise the full security implications of its employees moving from working in an office to working from home.

Technical Director Russell Henderson said: “Business data of all types is of value and anybody can be a target, with methods of stealing this data more sophisticated than ever.

“Continuous scanning to find vulnerabilities in businesses security and to exploit threats occurs, and it is likely attacks will become more frequent as well as more complex, so no matter your business size you need to be focused on keeping your data as secure as possible.

“Home networks tend to be far more open, with so many devices – e.g. smart speakers, internet games consoles, smart phones, smart TVs, doorbells, home alarms – potentially sharing a network and broadband with work devices.

“All of this increases the possibility of a piece of malware, or ransomware, finding a weakness and exploiting it, potentially allowing it to find and spread in the local network.

“Remote workers need strong security and those systems need stringent monitoring to protect the business’s data.”

It is predicted globally that companies will spend more than $137 billion in 2020 to protect against cyber threats.

Meanwhile technology research company Gartner has predicted the global cost of security attacks on businesses will be around $3.9 trillion.

Mr Henderson said there are many steps businesses can take to shore up security but that a multi-layered approach is needed to keep data safe.

He added: “No business can rely on a single product, platform or device to protect its data but there are some key steps to take to give your business the best chance of protecting against cyber attacks.

“These include having a quality firewall, implementing a quality antivirus platform for user devices and servers, carrying out security patching, having a multi-factor identification process and investing in a robust backup and recovery solution.

“These are just some of the protection measures that TruStack consults around. Ultimately, businesses must have a security-first mindset, from bottom to top, where protection of data is an absolute priority, as we transition towards a largely agile workforce.”

TruStack provides end-to-end managed IT services and specialises in Cybersecurity, Unified Communications and Agile Working solutions.

Amongst its many clients it counts several of the North East’s Top 200 companies – including Muckle LLP and Collingwood Business Solutions – as well as big names across the UK such as the Natural History Museum and Vertu Motors.

It has enabled many of these clients to work from home recently, and has also been following its own advice with almost all of its workforce undertaking agile working.

Netwrix 2020 Cyber Threat and Cybersecurity Report

In June 2020, our partner, Netwrix surveyed 937 IT professionals from all over the globe to learn how their threat landscape and priorities have changed due to this massive shift to remote work.

The findings, which are presented in the report below, will help organisations re-assess their security risks and identify new security gaps.

If you need any advice or have any questions on anything in the report, please do not hesitate to get in touch by clicking here or you can view our Cybersecurity services here.

Updates from Microsoft Ignite!

Some of you may know that every year Microsoft holds its Ignite conference for developers and IT professionals. Fresh from the announcements last week, resident Pre-Sales Consultant, Ian Sanderson picks a few of his favourite new features for Teams meetings.


New Together mode scenes
Together mode re-imagines meeting experiences to help participants feel closer together even when you are apart. With new Together mode scenes coming this year, you can transport your team to a variety of settings that can help set the tone and create the experience for your meeting, whether it be an auditorium, a conference room, or a coffee shop.

Custom layouts
Coming later this year, custom layouts allow for a more dynamic content viewing experience and enable presenters to customize how content shows up for participants during a meeting. For example, when a presenter is showing a PowerPoint slide, participants will be able to see the presenter’s video feed transposed onto the foreground of the slide they’re showing.

Breakout rooms
Coming in October, breakout rooms will allow meeting organisers to split up meeting participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or work group discussions. Presenters can choose to hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and/or close the breakout rooms that then bring everybody back into the main meeting.

Meeting recap
Meeting recaps help teams stay on track and keep work moving forward after a meeting for both participants and for those who were unable to attend a meeting. Coming this year, a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will be automatically shared in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting. The recap will also be available in the meeting event in your Outlook calendar.

Webinar registration and reporting
For more structured meetings, such as customer webinars, meeting organisers can use event registration with automated emails to make it easier to manage attendance. And after the meeting, view a detailed reporting dashboard that will help understand attendee engagement. These new features are expected to begin to roll out by end of year.

For more new features being released by Microsoft for Teams, you can read the full blog here https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/what-s-new-in-microsoft-teams-microsoft-ignite-2020/ba-p/1665600

For help or advice on collaboration tools or unified communication, please email us on [email protected] or call 0191 2503000.