Remote work is gaining popularity and acceptability around the world as it increases flexibility, productivity, and work-life balance. However, it has its' price.
Due to COVID-19 epidemic's new remote-working environment, cybersecurity has become a major concern for businesses all around the world.
We are introducing risks of remote work from both the employee’s and employer’s side.
Remote work risk for the employees
1․ Use of public Wi-Fi or unsafe networks
Your employees are using personal wireless networks or unprotected public Wi-Fi to access their corporate accounts. This allows bad actors in the vicinity (cyber criminals) to simply spy on their connection and steal sensitive information. For example, material transferred in plain text without encryption could be intercepted and stolen by thieves.
2․ Use of personal devices for work
Using personal devices at work, known as a "Bring Your Own Device" or BYOD policy. You must be completely aware of the arising challenges when your employees use their personal devices to do business. In instance, the employees may leave the firm unexpectedly and keep the secret information stored on their device throughout their job, and you will not have the opportunity to delete it. Eventually, this could result in data breach or even more serious threats if that information reached on the wrong hands.
3․ Physical security
Even while cybersecurity is our primary concern, we cannot ignore physical security when it comes to your company's important data. Talking on their phones loudly while working in public places, exposing their laptop screen on a public area, or even leaving their equipment unattended should be avoided. Even the most basic security procedures should be taught to staff, even if they appear to be common sense at first glance. A courteous warning to them not to reveal your company's data will always be beneficial.
4․ Weak passwords
Human error is easier to exploit than trying to get past an advanced security solution, which is why cybercriminals will try to crack account passwords to gain access to sensitive company data. To crack passwords, cyber criminals employ a variety of techniques. They could compile databases of commonly used passwords that can be exploited to quickly access accounts with weak security. Repeating passwords is another common insecure practice used by fraudsters. Employees who reuse passwords, especially across personal and professional accounts, are more likely to be victims of a cyberattack.
5․ Unencrypted file sharing
While businesses may encrypt data kept on their network, they may overlook encrypting data in transit.
Your employees communicate so much personal information on a daily basis, from customer account information to files and more, that your business can't afford to leave it vulnerable to cybercriminals. Identity fraud, ransomware cyberattacks, theft, and other issues might arise if critical firm information is intercepted.
Remote security risks for organizations
Your remote workers may be putting your company's data at risk without even realizing it. Working from home has the potential to result in data breaches, identity theft, and a slew of other problems.
Weak security protocols
The relaxation of firewall rules and email policy is just one example of security safeguards being weakened. Remote personnel will not be covered by many levels of cyber security. Workers who take their work devices home with them will find themselves without protection as their personal Wi-Fi replaces the business network. Now that NAC, IDS, and NGFW or proxy servers are no longer available, client devices will remain unprotected and vulnerable to unsecured networks among potentially hacked devices.
Cyberattacks on Telecommuting Infrastructure
Aside from eroding existing safeguards, the creation of new infrastructure will introduce new dangers. Brute force and server-side assaults should be avoided at all costs. DDoS defense will be necessary as well.
This will be the first time that a DDoS assault has the potential to kill a company by prohibiting remote workers from accessing services via the Internet. Both are expected to expand dramatically.
Developing Workplace Security Policy
- Define which positions are eligible for remote work in a clear manner
Be open and honest with your staff. Due to security concerns, everyone should be informed of which job responsibilities are authorized to work remotely and which are not. Unfortunately, not all jobs are suitable for remote work. If you don't have a clear policy in place, your work-from-home approvals are likely to be viewed as unequal.
- Make a list of the tools and platforms that they should use
Both your remote and on-site personnel should utilize the same permitted solutions, such as cloud storage platforms, communication/video conferencing tools, project management systems, and so on.
- Provide staff with procedures to follow if their accounts are compromised
If customers suspect the company's data has been compromised, they should be given clear instructions, such as where to report the issue and how to change their passwords right away. These procedures, along with others like how to develop strong passwords, should be included in their mandated cybersecurity training.
Best Practices for Working from Home and Avoiding Security Risks
This sort of authentication will offer an extra layer of security for the accounts of your remote employees. The more security layers you have in place, the less likely cyber-criminals are to obtain access to your sensitive systems.
Your staff should use a password manager in addition to multi-factor authentication when it comes to passwords. They won't have to remember all of the numerous passwords they'll need for their work-related accounts this way.
Even when your employees work from home, VPN connections are critical when they connect to unprotected networks like Wi-Fi hotspots. It is suggested that your staff use the VPN provided by your firm. This tool routes traffic from your organization's private network across the internet, ensuring even more security.
Unauthorized access to and from the network will be prevented by a firewall, further enhancing the security of your employees' devices. Firewalls monitor network traffic while also detecting and preventing malicious activity.
In today's corporate environment, it is critical for you to stay inventive and competitive, and allowing your workers to work remotely is a must. However, remote work has security vulnerabilities that should be addressed before allowing anyone to work from home - whether permanent remote workers or those who work from home only a few hours each month. Only by successfully responding to this challenge will you be able to completely seize this opportunity to boost talent retention, productivity, and work-life balance for your employees.