In the face of an evolving work culture, remote work has made headway into the modern world. It offers employees a flexible working environment while allowing companies to cut down on office-related costs. Statistics even reveal a whopping 56% decrease in wasted time when employees work from home compared to the traditional office setting.
However, the convenience of remote work comes with its own set of problems, and cybersecurity risks top the list. About 63% of businesses have reported a data breach because of remote employees. This might seem alarming, but rest assured, these risks can be managed effectively.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll shed light on the seven significant cybersecurity threats that come with remote work and how to navigate these risks for a safe and secure remote working experience.
Remote Work: The Risks and their Remedies
1. Weak Passwords and the Absence of Multi-Factor Authentication
A weak password is akin to leaving your front door unlocked. And when the same password is used across multiple platforms, you’re basically handing over the keys to your castle. Now imagine these ‘castles’ being company databases or sensitive information that remote workers access.
Solution: Create robust, unique passwords for each platform. Opt for multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available. It’s like having a security guard at the door who verifies your identity before letting you in. Employers can leverage access management systems to streamline this process, adding contextual MFA for a solid security measure.
2. Unprotected Wi-Fi Networks
Remote work means connecting from various locations, often with potentially insecure Wi-Fi networks. These can become easy entry points for hackers.
Solution: Utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while connecting to insecure or public networks. A VPN acts as a protective tunnel for your data, keeping it secure even in untrustworthy networks.
3. Phishing Attacks
Phishing is a prevalent cybersecurity threat, and remote workers are prime targets. Deceptive emails or messages trick users into disclosing login credentials or downloading harmful files.
Solution: Be vigilant while checking your emails. If a message seems suspicious or is from an unknown source, validate the sender’s credentials and don’t click on any links. Remember to always double-check any requests for sensitive data, and when in doubt, get in touch with your IT support.
4. Unsecured Home Network Devices
IoT devices, such as smart speakers and home security systems, if not secured correctly, can create vulnerabilities in your home network.
Solution: Change the default passwords of your IoT devices and keep them updated. Consider segregating your work and IoT devices on separate networks. Employers can use endpoint device managers like Microsoft Intune to maintain security across employee devices.
5. Infrequent Security Updates
Regular updates are crucial for robust cybersecurity. However, remote workers might overlook these updates, giving cybercriminals a window of opportunity.
Solution: Enable auto-updates whenever possible and regularly check for software and device updates. Swift installation of these updates ensures you are armed with the latest security defenses.
6. Data Backup and Recovery
Remote workers handle copious amounts of data daily. Data loss or corruption can have disastrous consequences.
Solution: Regularly back up your critical files to a secure cloud storage or an external hard drive. This ensures data safety even if a device is compromised.
7. Inadequate Employee Training
Proper cybersecurity training is crucial for remote workers. Yet, many organizations overlook this, leaving their employees unprepared for potential threats.
Solution: Organizations should offer comprehensive cybersecurity training to remote workers. This includes phishing identification, strong password creation, suspicious online behavior recognition, and awareness of new phishing techniques such as “smishing.”
Securing Remote Work with NVITS
Remote work can be a boon if the associated cybersecurity risks are proactively addressed. Implementing these safety measures is a step towards secure remote working. If you need help with this, we’re here for you. NVITS, a premier Managed Services company, is always ready to assist.
Give us a call today to discuss how we can bolster your remote team’s cybersecurity.