Data from 30m McAfee MVISION Cloud users worldwide between January and April 2020 show external attacks by hackers on companies’ cloud-based systems have increased 630 percent following the mass migration to work from home. Overall enterprise use of cloud services has increased by 50 percent over the same time period. Use of Cisco Webex has increased 600 percent, Zoom by 350 percent, Microsoft Teams by 300 percent and Slack by 200 percent. Attacks by ‘insider threat’ categories (i. e. employees working from home) have remained the same, indicating that employees do not ‘attempt to steal more data because they are working from home’.
This is the latest in a long series of data points quantifying the hugely increased cybersecurity threat environment that organizations face in the new COVID‑19 work-from-home era. All indicators point in the same direction, that the threat surface has increased and companies are more vulnerable than ever to cyber breaches. McAfee correctly points out that cybersecurity is every employee’s responsibility, as the increase in cloud usage increases the number of potential threat vectors into a company’s IT systems.
Cyberhedge data indicate that companies with poor cyber governance are often weak in the area of employee training and awareness. The right investment in technology is an important part of good cyber governance, but the policies and processes that sit behind the technology and consistent employee adherence to them is critically important. Companies with strong cyber governance understand this and devote resources to ‘people and process’ to reduce their risk of suffering a financially damaging breach.
More broadly, the McAfee data puts numbers to the unprecedented strains being placed on corporate IT networks since the lockdowns began. This coupled with the ‘people and process’ factor explain why COVID‑19 has acted as the great catalyst separating outperformers and underperformers based in part on how well or poorly they have managed digital transformations prior to the pandemic.