The growth of remote working hasn’t just been good news for companies that sell video conferencing tools. It’s also been a bonanza for hackers and fraudsters according to data collected through FOI requests.
Cyber attacks on IT used by local authority remote workers rose by an average of 213% during the pandemic. The ‘prizes’ on offer include opportunities to infect systems with ransomware and access to the private data of often vulnerable people.
Before we get into the risks it’s worth remembering that the rapid switch to remote working kept vital services like care brokerage working and was a magnificent achievement. Remote working also brings cost savings and makes jobs accessible to more people, plus it helps to avoid the need for unnecessary journeys and hence is better for the environment.
These are benefits that it’s worth holding on to. There are many reasons why remote working is good news and is here to stay.
But it also seems from the FOI data collected that only 20% of councils increased spending on cyber security as staff switched to working from home.
It’s not hard to grasp why – councils are under extreme financial pressure. Any additional and unplanned investments in extra cyber security need to be diverted from elsewhere in the IT budget. However, this means that critical council services could be vulnerable.
Security in the Cloud
With more time to plan an orderly transition to remote working there’s little doubt that local authorities would have turned to secure cloud-based systems. These technologies ensure that data and communications are fully encrypted and ‘walled-in’ to protect them from cyber threats. This is the route that most private sector enterprises are taking to enable safe remote working.
The switch to cloud-based systems such as eBrokerage by UDMS comes with the added benefit of greater efficiency. The emails, phone calls and spreadsheets that make so much time unproductive are eliminated. As brokerage teams face a surge in demand to place care packages, that extra productivity will be invaluable.
In the face of growing cyber security threats to remote workers some authorities are seeing the need to take urgent action. Here there’s more good news. The highly flexible eBrokerage by UDMS solution can be implemented within a few weeks and is easy to procure through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.