Work-from-home network traffic spikes: Are your employees vulnerable?

A shift to work-from-home culture

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced employees to work from home, and many businesses were unprepared to provide cybersecurity in this new environment. Some had just 24 hours to make the switch, which means security measures likely fell through the cracks. 

Even after states relax their mandates and offices start to reopen, work from home is likely here to stay for many organizations. The shift to a long-term remote culture means security strategies need to change too, with both technology and processes focusing on the biggest vulnerability: employees.

Work-from-home brings network traffic spikes

When businesses had to choose between shattering operations during the coronavirus lockdown or implementing a remote-work policy, many chose the latter. A survey of 365 employees by B2B ratings and reviews platform Clutch found that 66 percent worked remotely during the pandemic, compared to only 17 percent before work-from-home was required.

As this newly remote workforce had to access corporate networks and cloud apps from their home as well as communicate via videoconferencing, network traffic saw significant spikes. Akamai CEO Tom Leighton put it this way in an interview with the Data Center Frontier: “I’ve been looking at traffic graphs for over 20 years now and I can’t recall seeing anything like this.”

Residential internet providers reported traffic peaks throughout the country starting in March. Comcast, for example, reportedly saw a 32 percent average increase, with areas like Seattle and San Francisco — tech hubs where more employees were likely to work from home — nearly double that, to a 60 percent spike. 

Some of those patterns can be attributed to remote learning as schools closed, as well as people filling their extra free time by streaming shows. But data analytics and broadband company OpenVault reportedly (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Rodika Tollefson. Read the original post at: