Scottish businesses urged to tighten security as employees work from home

Eamonn Keane, SBRC chief operating officer for cyber and innovation

SCOTTISH businesses are being advised to put in place stricter rules around passwords to protect staff and systems, as the country switches to home-working amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following UK Government advice for businesses to work from home where possible, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is warning employers how this can increase an organisation’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

This was demonstrated just weeks into the COVID-19 outbreak, with scammers already capitalising on fear and system frailties, and scams relating to the virus costing UK businesses nearly £970,000.

SBRC is advising businesses to quickly and easily increase their security by using password manager software and implementing a two-factor authentication.

Eamonn Keane, SBRC chief operating officer for cyber and innovation, said: “The last thing any business battling the impact of coronavirus needs right now is a crippling cyber-attack.

“The prospect of thousands of temporary home workers, potentially accessing a range of vital business servers and applications from vulnerable home internet connections, or using old or inadequate laptops or PCs, is a scary one.

“One of the easiest ways for businesses to avoid cyber-attacks is to set up a password manager to secure, store and generate passwords for your team which can be accessed across various devices.

“Attackers use different techniques beyond hacking to discover passwords, including phishing, automated guessing using the most commonly-used passwords, manual guessing and intercepting networks. Password managers and two-factor authentication can easily put a stop to a lot of these tactics.”

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