As the world continues to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, different forms of cyberattacks have been targeting what is now a largely remote workforce. Philip Reitinger, our President and CEO, was interviewed by Voice of America’s Russian Service about cybersecurity concerns during this time, changes to our working and living models, and simple tips for everyone, from small businesses to their employees. You can read the full interview here — an option for Google Translate should pop up if you’re reading it in English.
Philip Reitinger, GCA’s President and CEO, spoke with the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of OODA LLC, Bob Gourley, in a video chat for OODA Loop’s OODAcast. They discussed Philip’s background, the current work being done at GCA, and how we’ve all had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced so many to work from home. You can watch the full interview here.
Leveraging Practical Experiences to Reduce Cyber Risk in Remote Working Environments
A virtual roundtable discussion co-organized by UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), and the OAS (Organization of American States).
Who Should Participate? Any remote workers or online students concerned about their cybersecurity and cyber resilience in the new threat landscape after the emergence of COVID-19. A selection of global speakers from organizations and alliances, including the World Economic Forum, the Charter of Trust, and the Cyber Readiness Institute, together with UNITAR, GCA, and the OAS, will offer different perspectives on the issue and will guide the participants through practical solutions at their reach.
Phil Reitinger, GCA President and CEO (presenting)
The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is among a large coalition of nonprofit organizations that have announced their affiliation with the Tech-CARES (CARES) campaign. Organized by Adaptable Security, the campaign is committed to supporting small businesses and nonprofits to help them stay in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more here about the ways in which CARES helps businesses safely adopt technologies and navigate grants during this unprecedented time.
With an almost entirely remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber risks are increasing. People may be using their own devices at home which are harder for businesses to monitor, and cybercriminals may be taking advantage of this evolving landscape. Philip Reitinger, our President and CEO, spoke about how the pandemic is changing cybersecurity and offered tips for mitigating risks in a video by one of our partners, Agari – you can check it out here.
GCA is leading a coalition of nonprofits called Work From Home. Secure Your Business. in order to offer support to everyone who is suddenly forced to work remotely. Andy Bates, our Executive Director, UK, Middle East, and India, was interviewed by Tom Field, the Senior Vice President of Information Security Media Group. You can find the full interview here to hear more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the threat landscape and about the long-term challenges of supporting a remote workforce.
New York, N.Y., March 31, 2020 – Today a coalition of 13 nonprofit organizations joined the Work From Home. Secure Your Business. campaign. The organizations participating in the campaign include:
- The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI)
- Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V./German Cyber-Security Council
- Bestyrelsesforeningen/Danish Board Leadership Society
- Cybercrime Support Network
- Cyber Threat Alliance
- Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute
- Adaptable Security
- Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC)
- Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum (TUFF)
- Global Cyber Alliance (GCA)
The Work From Home. Secure Your Business. campaign is focused on shoring up the defenses of a newly remote workforce. Many businesses have been forced to move their day-to-day operations from offices to their employees’ homes, as much of the world shelters in place to quell the COVID-19 pandemic. This global remote workforce creates new security risks for businesses, their customers, and employees. Fortunately, there are a few relatively simple actions employers and employees can take to greatly reduce cyber risk:
- Update personal and company systems and applications
- Implement two-factor authentication for access to company services
- Use a protective DNS service, such as Quad9
In times when businesses and people are struggling to address the changes they face, this campaign focuses on providing simple actions to improve security.
“Our aim is to provide a unified voice to guide people to put better security in place as they work in a remote environment. While many corporations and government agencies have security protocols and teams of people in place, smaller businesses are not equipped to do that,” said Philip Reitinger, GCA’s President and CEO. “Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good; let’s encourage everyone to take a few key steps and then consider if they can do more.”
“The Cyber Readiness Institute is pleased to be a partner in this effort and commends GCA for taking the lead. We want to work collaboratively with other nonprofit efforts to centralize resources for SMBs around the world. As businesses manage remote workforces during this pandemic, it is critical to provide easy-to-understand, accessible guidance on fundamental steps they can take to keep their employees and businesses cyber secure,” said Kiersten Todt, Managing Director, the Cyber Readiness Institute.
“Unfortunately, working in a new and unfamiliar remote environment very often goes hand in hand with an increase of digital vulnerabilities, which cyber criminals try to profit from by phishing mails or social engineering. The most effective way to help especially smaller businesses to face these challenges is by sharing resources and by international cooperation. Therefore, our council is proud to support the Work From Home. Secure Your Business. campaign as an excellent, easy to access, and self-guidance tool especially for smaller companies to secure their business and digital environment in these difficult times,” said Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, President of the Cyber-Security Council Germany.
“The global combat against the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused Denmark to be ‘locked down’ and businesses and organizations across all industries needed to transform swiftly into a ‘work from home’ concept – basically overnight. This rapid digital transformation for both management and workforce has many challenges and security is certainly one of the most prevalent. Cybercriminal networks have already taken advantage of the situation and this coalition and campaign to help increase security is more needed than ever. The Board Leadership Society of Denmark takes great pride in our commitment to help Danish businesses and corporations to enhance and increase cybersecurity, privacy, and information integrity – regardless if the work is done from home or in the office. This campaign and toolbox will make the digital working environment more secure and resilient and life easier for all online staff; we hope it will be widely used,” said Tom Jacobsgaard, CEO of the Board Leadership Society of Denmark.
“With cybercrime increasing during the pandemic, more businesses will need resources to report, recover, and reinforce their security after an attack,” said Kristin Judge, CSN President and CEO. “The Cybercrime Support Network is ready to provide victims with those resources at Fraudsupport.org. We are proud to partner with GCA and thank them for their continued leadership.”
“In this trying hour, professionals and artisans must, in short order, establish and maintain safe home-office computing and ICT best practices. This coalition’s effort posits an important framework that their correspondents can build upon, test, and improve upon as a community resource that shares experience and insights across a large cohort of users,” said APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy.
“Although addressing the cyber risks posed by a remote workforce may seem daunting, taking a few, basic cybersecurity measures can dramatically lower those risks. Further, these measures will still be useful for once the pandemic has passed and operations return to normal. These are long-term investments, not just short-term band-aids,”said Michael Daniel, CTA President and CEO.
“COVID-19 and cyber scams attack us indiscriminately. Only through united efforts we will defeat them. Adaptable Security Corp is ready to help smaller businesses utilize GCA’s free tools with trusted professional volunteers and experts,” said Lan Jenson, Adaptable Security CEO.
The campaign, https://workfromhome.globalcyberalliance.org, provides clear, actionable guidance including links to tools and step-by-step instructions that can be used by companies and employees working remotely to take immediate action and put better security in place in their home environment. To support the campaign and questions that may arise, a Work From Home Community Forum (https://community.globalcyberalliance.org/c/working-from-home/76) has been created as a place where people can go to ask questions and get help from community security experts, including from GCA and other nonprofit organizations. The Work From Home Community Forum contains further resources such as those from non-campaign partners and government agencies. New content will be posted to the website on a weekly basis.
About the Global Cyber Alliance
The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is an international, cross-sector effort dedicated to eradicating cyber risk and improving our connected world. We achieve our mission by uniting global communities, implementing concrete solutions, and measuring the effect. Learn more at www.globalcyberalliance.org.
Employees and businesses around the world are being forced to shift to remote working, and along with this comes an increasing need to supply them with methods to mitigate cyber risks. The Global Cyber Alliance has created a support site supported by a coalition of 12 other nonprofits organizations around the world. The site focuses on actions users can undertake to protect their systems against specific cyber threats. The campaign includes information from our cybersecurity toolkits, and as a further resource for the community, we have created a Work From Home Community Forum support group where subject matter experts will be on hand to answer questions about security issues related to working remotely.
An overview of basic steps to take while working from home can be found at workfromhome.globalcybera lliance.org. We encourage our partners to assist us in sharing this message to help organizations around the world address these cybersecurity challenges during this difficult time.
Virtual office, remote working, telework, work from home…no matter what one chooses to call it, the stress of having to suddenly work somewhere other than your normal location, for an unknown period of time, and apart from your organization’s infrastructure and the support of colleagues is real. At GCA, we’d like to do what we can to minimize that stress and keep you cyber safe!
Watch the video below for an important message from our President and CEO, Philip Reitinger.
For more cyber hygiene tips – not just for employees working from home but also for students who are now learning from home – read our recent blog with five simple steps you can take.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work remotely, and as a result the risk of cyberattacks has risen. GCA President and CEO Phil Reitinger was interviewed by Tom Field, the Senior Vice President of Information Security Media Group. Check out the full interview here, which includes an overview of potential cyber vulnerabilities and tips for how to deal with them.