Aug 26, 2022|
Just like the widespread of the COVID-19 virus across the world, remote working also saw a similar trend. Companies were forced to conduct businesses remotely and digitally. Now after more than 2 years of the pandemic, many companies have either returned back to the office or opted for a hybrid work model.
There is no denying that remote working has also open new cybersecurity challenges for companies. So, let's discuss in detail remote working security risks and the best practices around cybersecurity for remote workers.
Remote Working and Cyber Concerns
Remote working means employees will be using different devices from different locations to access the company's data resources. This means that companies cannot implement the same cybersecurity measures that they can implement on-premises. For example, unsecured Wi-Fi connections and unpatched computers can alone provide an easy gateway for attackers to make an impact. So, there is a wide range of cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities that companies have to deal with remote working. Some of the main security concerns are as follows:
- Phishing emails
- Zero-day attacks
- Malware and viruses
- Accessing sensitive data from an unsafe Wi-Fi network
- Unencrypted file sharing
- Weak passwords
- Frequent use of online tools
- And many more.
In short, remote working opens a new path for cybercriminals that is much easy to penetrate.
6 Best Cybersecurity Practices for Remote Working
Below are 6 best cybersecurity tips for what companies can do to implement some key cybersecurity practices for remote working that can reduce the chances of attack:
1. Unique Login Credentials for Each Cloud Application
Instead of using traditional desktop applications, remote workers are more attracted to cloud-based SaaS applications. For example, Microsoft 365 and similar others are reducing the use of desktop-based applications and giving more freedom to remote workers to work from any device. However, research showed that 68% of malware was delivered from cloud apps in 2021. Therefore, cloud network security is critical today. So, the first cybersecurity tip for remote workers is to use unique login credentials for each cloud application so that if one account is compromised, the others still remain protected.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Attackers mostly target to somehow trick victims and let them share their login credentials. One best way to protect employees' accounts even if login credentials are compromised is to use multi-factor authentication. Through this, a one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your phone number, email, or some dedicated app. This way, an employee has to pass through two layers of authentication before accessing anything.
3. Up-to-Date and Patched Systems
Remote workers often neglect to update systems and install the security patches on time. Failing to do so makes a system more vulnerable to malware, viruses, and other attacks. Therefore, companies should train their employees to keep their systems up-to-date and patched. They can also send them an alert message when a new update or security patch is available.
4. Antivirus Software
Windows and macOS are already coming with strong built-in security systems, but having antivirus software can uplift the security. This way, even if some viruses manage to bypass the OS security defense, the antivirus software can still detect them.
5. VPN – Virtual Private Network
VPN not just helps in having more online privacy, but it also helps companies to protect their traffic from getting seized by attackers. With the use of reputed and paid VPN, all the internet traffic from remote workers is encrypted, which ensures that the data sharing to and from the company's network is protected.
6. Employees Cybersecurity Training
Cybersecurity training is a must for employees today. It helps to educate employees about all the potential ways attackers can trick employees. For example, if employees are aware of how phishing scams occur, they won't get into the trap of such campaigns. For remote employees, a company can conduct video-link sessions or create intuitive documents/videos to give those workers cybersecurity training at home.
The past 2 years of the remote working journey have let companies become attached to this working model. However, the financial and productivity gains of remote working can turn into a significant loss of reputation and revenue if companies fail to enforce top-notch cybersecurity measures for remote workers. Above we have discussed the 6 best cybersecurity practices that suit most remote working environments. But you should also implement more specific cybersecurity measures depending on your company's infrastructure. Overall, these measures do not guarantee complete protection from cyberattacks but can minimize the chances of attack significantly.
Call our CARE Team for to discuss what Cybersecurity Practices you can put in place.