According to Statista, before 2020, 47% of America’s workforce had never worked from home before. This number has now fallen to 34%. On that same note, before 2020, only 17% of America’s workforce worked from home for five or more days per week. That number has now climbed to 44%. During the transition period, companies relied more heavily on Azure AD, Microsoft Office 365, and other software to get work done.
Now, hackers are targeting them.
How Remote Work Led to Increased Threats
There are countless benefits to allowing people to work from home, but it does have its downsides. One of the most concerning disadvantages is the fact that data is more difficult to secure remotely. When more people moved into the virtual workspace, it created a greater wealth of data for hackers to attempt to mine.
Companies without proper infrastructure for remote work and employees who had not received proper remote work training created the greatest vulnerabilities. These are some of the risks presented by remote work:
- Using personal devices for business purposes
- Sharing personal devices used for business purposes with unauthorized persons
- Using public WiFi to complete work assignments and submit information
- Failing to encrypt sensitive information before sending
- Using local hard drives without encryption
How Much Cybersecurity Threats Have Worsened
Cybersecurity threats have been on the rise for some time. Their costs have also increased, especially when you consider the cost of ransoms and investigations. In the recent hack against Colonial Pipeline, for instance, the company paid millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Few business owners could afford a price tag like this, but there are increased risks of such attacks happening.
One recent study found that the already poor state of cybersecurity affairs has worsened. Of the cybersecurity professionals interviewed, 82% had seen risks of attacks increased. The main concerns listed included
- data compromise,
- account takeovers
- successful covering of tracks by hackers.
What Top Threats To Look Out For on Office 365 and Azure AD
Over the past few years, data has become the real currency. This is why hackers are so keen on getting access to personal and corporate information. Not surprisingly, then, they are specifically targeting emails and cloud services to mine data. One study evaluating cyber threats at businesses found the following:
- 56% experienced Office 365 suspicious Power Automate Flow creation
- 56% experienced risky Exchange operation
- 8% experienced suspicious mail forwarding
- 3% experienced external Teams activity
- 1% experienced suspicious eDiscovery exfil
- 4% experienced suspicious sharing activity
Azure AD was not without incident. More than 52% of its surveyed users experienced unusual scripting engine usage. Meanwhile, almost 52% experience redundant access creation points.
How To Protect Your Business From Cyberthreats to Azure AD and Office 365
Cybersecurity threats are just another risk of doing business. Fortunately, there are a number of things companies can do to reduce the risks of cybersecurity threats.
Back Up Your Data
Ransomware hacks hold on to your data until you pay the necessary funds to free them. However, if you keep your data regularly backed up, you can simply reload the backup and resume business.
Use Multi-factor Authentication
Workers and everyday consumers often find multi-factor authentication (MFA) to be annoying. Needing multiple devices to get into one account is a lot of work. However, when implemented, it significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access.
Observe Your Systems
What might appear as suspicious activities for one company might seem normal for another. Consequently, managers and the cybersecurity team should spend time understanding how employees now use cloud systems and other technology after working from home and settling into a regular routine.
Widen Your Net
When looking for threats, it’s important to manage all your systems. If you suspect a threat, continue to do so. This is because cybersecurity criminals tend to travel across the different technology environments as they see fit.
Employees are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain when they remain untrained. In fact, one study determined employee negligence was the biggest risk companies faced when fighting cybersecurity threats. Proper training can reduce or even eliminate this risk.
Artificial intelligence can help you automate detection and automate your response to cybersecurity threats. Naturally, bots should not be your only defense against highly capable hackers, but they are a good line of defense, especially outside of business hours.
How To Migrate Safely to the Cloud
At Cloudficient, we help our clients migrate from legacy systems to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure AD. While there are certainly hazards to watch out for in the cloud, it is the only way to take a business into a new era of operating.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on servicing client needs and creating product offerings that match them.
If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.