The surge in teleworking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened cyber-risks for organizations across industries — especially those with little prior experience dealing with a remote workforce.
Indeed, threat actors attempting to take advantage of the situation have sharply increased attacks on enterprises using COVID-19-related phishing lures, Web domains, and other tactics. In April, for example, Google reported detecting some 18 million malware and phishing messages and more than 240 million spam messages per day on Gmail that were related to COVID-19. Its security researchers also identified more than one dozen government-backed threat actors using COVID-19-related lures to try and distribute malware or steal data.
In response, numerous security vendors and others have recently announced free products and services to help organizations address the new threats. These offerings include endpoint threat detection and response tools, secure remote access tools, security assessment and monitoring tools, and mobile access tools. Some are targeted at small and midsize organizations, while others focus more on the needs of large enterprises.
Among the myriad offerings have been a handful targeted at educating organizations and workers about the security risks associated with remote work, in particular, and security hygiene, in general. The programs are particularly useful because many organizations have been forced to support a work-from-home workforce with little prior preparation or notice. A recent Kaspersky survey of 6,000 individuals worldwide, in fact, found that 73% of employees working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic started have had no security guidance or training from their employers. The survey also found 27% of the respondents had received COVID-19-related phishing emails.
"While employees are trying to get used to the new reality of working from home, IT and cybersecurity teams are under pressure to enable them to continue working safely," said Andrey Dankevich, Kaspersky's senior product marketing manager.
The following are six examples of free security awareness and training programs designed to help organizations and workers hone up on the security basics.