While remote working has many advantages for employees, it exposes businesses and individuals to cybersecurity risks.
Remote office work has become widespread around the world since the pandemic. Many predict that remote working will remain with many industries and sectors even though the pandemic has gone away. Although challenging, it is essential to maintain security essentials while working from home. So, employers need to ensure remote work cybersecurity.
As working from home exposes many cybersecurity risks, it is advised that companies should give serious consideration to remote work security. One can quickly mitigate all the work-from-home cybersecurity risks by following remote working security best practices.
Remote work Cybersecurity Risks
Many cybersecurity threats have become severe with the rise of working from remote areas, particularly phishing. The main issue is that a security team will take care of all the cybersecurity issues while working from the office. Still, while working from home, an employee needs to be extra careful about the hacking risks, and the security team needs to work extra hard remotely to mitigate them.
If the company uses sensitive data, has many financial operations, or has an extensive user database, the employees need to adhere to security policies to ensure all security measures are in place. While everyone is working from the office, keeping the data safe is much easier than for employees working with remote location facilities. With remote work environments, cybersecurity risks can also stem from the public network and unprotected home access.
Another factor that influences data breaches is endpoint security. This includes using anti-virus programs, updating operating systems and software, and network firewalls. More than anything, lack of awareness is the main reason for cybersecurity risks to arise. Most companies need to educate employees about cybersecurity in remote work environments. If they don’t share adequate information, there is often a complete lack of awareness or an uninformed system.
Here are the top ways for employers to ensure the employees’ remote work cybersecurity and protect the business from risks and breaches. Employers can educate these tips to their employees who work from home.
Use of Cloud Applications
One of the main ways to ensure remote work cybersecurity is to opt for cloud infrastructure., The cloud uses data encryption technology while transferring confidential information. With Blockchain also being used in the cloud, transactions will be secure, and the budget will be happy.
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Ensure Company Security Protocols are in Place
Having a centralized strategy to deal with various cybersecurity issues is good. It will ascertain that everyone is following the protocols and that nobody is exposed to cyber risks.
A cybersecurity policy in a company can include the following:
- Educational materials such as case studies and examples
- Suggestions for responding if anyone suspects a cyber-threat,
- Guidelines on creating strong passwords
- Whatever other essential security tips the company can offer
There should also be educational documents on how to respond to cybersecurity threats when they occur in remote work environments. So, the workers can follow these guidelines when they are in need.
Login credentials do not always work to prevent cyber-attacks. Multifactor authentication requires users to give multiple forms of authentication to prove themselves. There are different ways to do this. In addition to login credentials, some apps use security questions related to the user’s details. Some apps use email authentication or text, sharing a code for authentication.
The SMS code is sometimes the best authentication factor, with Time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) being the most useful to mitigate such risks. This is because they can be used only once and will be only active for a short time.
Another method to mitigate cyber risks is to use biological authentication. With this, apps can use biological data such as facial recognition or fingerprint. Multifactor authentication can decrease the chances that employees face cybersecurity risks and an attacker cannot access the business network and data.
With remote working, one of the most significant risks is the various personal devices that employees often use. While computers can be encrypted remotely, the risk is when mobile devices outside the company’s security perimeter are used. The company can ask employees to encrypt their devices, or not allow them to use them at all, even remotely. The price to pay for their momentary convenience could be very high for the company.
The second method is that the company can encrypt backups of any hardware or software in use that is connected to the business. This is because there are possibilities that apps, hard drives, or websites can fail or get infected by various malware. A data backup plan should be a significant part of the remote work cybersecurity plan. As backups can also be at risk, encrypting the backup is essential to avoid data breaches.
One of the best ways to maintain remote work cybersecurity is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN can help to increase the safety of financial transactions, web sessions, transferred data, and personal information.
The security teams can ensure all employees use only the secure VPN for work where company data and network or devices are being used. This VPN can create a private connection to the business networks from any public internet connection, enabling online anonymity and privacy.
Scrutinize Your Devices and Technology
Bring Your Device (BYOD) policy has become a norm today in workplaces. But, unfortunately, they can create work-from-home cyber security risks. It makes points of entry and weaknesses for hackers to intrude into the company systems and businesses.
So, companies should consider eliminating BYOD policies. Employers can make it mandate all work be done on the devices and other equipment provided by the company. Moreover, companies should scrutinize employees’ devices and technologies regardless of anyone’s personal opinion on BYOD. To stay secure, companies also have to update all operating systems frequently.
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Protect your communications
One of the significant remote work security risks is the email system. There needs to be a control and check on what services your remote employees use to transfer files and sensitive information and send emails. Upgrade them regularly when necessary.
For example, to keep correspondence safe, for G Suite customers, an email encryption service is offered by G Suite email encryption. You can also make your remote workers use a VPN for encrypting all communications.
Remote work cybersecurity has become imperative as work from home has become a trend worldwide. It shows companies should be ready to tackle this significant issue of work-from-home cyber security risks. Businesses and individuals can maintain cybersecurity and ensure safety by following remote work cybersecurity best practices.
It’s challenging for companies and individuals to ensure cyber security as remote working becomes the norm rather than the exception. Remote work has significantly changed the way employers hire and manage employees. Most of the time, employees are not appropriately educated on the possibility of cybersecurity risk. Due to this, employees lack awareness of trouble, how to identify a threat, and even what to do when an incident occurs. However, everyone needs to understand and be aware that security is a team effort of all employees and not just the responsibility of a company’s security team.
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