Remote working exposes firms to cyber-attacks

Cybercrime. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Companies whose employees access their IT networks remotely through unprotected social platforms are exposing themselves to hacking.

Pan-African digital solutions firm, Dimension Data has warned that with many staff working from home, companies have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Releasing a study conducted across East Africa, Dimension Data said the past three months had witnessed a 55 percent surge in insider-related cyber-security incidents as most companies lack an active 24-hour monitoring mechanism for their IT infrastructure. The firm’s intelligent security business unit head, Ishmael Muli said most companies had invested in in-house checks that largely run during working hours and become redundant once offices close down for the day

“Although insider threats are largely attributed to malicious employees and contractors, we found that most incidents originate from employee negligence and other close associates ignoring corporate cybersecurity policies, misuse of data and installation of unauthorised applications among others,” he said.

Mr Muli spoke days after Dimension Data launched the new unit that is aimed at helping East Africa businesses ward off cyber-attacks. The unit’s team will offer IT infrastructure and network monitoring services.


The current Covid-19 crisis has seen a sharp rise in employees working from home where they use public internet services to execute official tasks using own digital gadgets.

“As more employees remotely connect to company resources from mobile devices and external networks, attackers took advantage of the publicly available weak systems as most IT security controls are traditionally designed to monitor and capture activities on-premise infrastructure,” the Dimension Data survey says adding that the Financial Services Industry (FSI) remains the most targeted sector.