Tips for Resolving the Biggest Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work
Remote work is here to stay as it has become one of the work standards for many organisations. Although the aspect of remote work is becoming stronger in providing flexibility and efficiency for organisations and employees alike, the sudden transition to remote work back in the day brought about various cybersecurity risks that are ever-increasing today.
According to Statista, one-third of data breaches in Australia are a result of human error. Also according to Digital Information World, 60% of businesses offering remote work suffer various cyberattacks due to human error or negligence.
As a result, the need for organisations to up the ante in securing their remote workforce is essential. How? It is imperative for businesses and individuals to understand the biggest cybersecurity risk they face, resulting in the best ways to resolve the biggest cybersecurity risks of remote work.
This article will explore practical tips and strategies to resolve the biggest cybersecurity risks associated with remote work.
Biggest Cybersecurity Risks Associated with Remote Work
Here are four of the biggest cybersecurity risks associated with remote work:
Phishing attacks are one of the most dangerous cybersecurity risks for organisations having in-house, remote workers, or both. Remote workers are more vulnerable to phishing attacks due to the increased use of personal devices and potentially less secure home networks. They are easier to target because they are not privy to the cybersecurity system set up by the organisation for in-house employees.
Weak Endpoint Security:
Remote work involves the use of employees using their own personal devices, which may not have the same level of security as devices provided by the company. This makes the endpoint of remote workers weak, making it easy to expose the organisation to risks that hackers and cybercriminals can exploit. Some of the risks associated with weak endpoint security include data breaches, malware infections, and unauthorised access.
Insecure Wi-Fi Networks:
This is one of the biggest cybersecurity risks associated with remote work. Truthfully, this particular risk is one that is challenging for organisations to resolve as remote workers need internet connections to work. Remote workers often rely on public Wi-Fi networks in cafes, airports, or other public spaces to access company resources. Unfortunately, these networks are often unsecured, making them an easy target for hackers. Due to poor network security, cybercriminals can intercept data and gain access to various sensitive information. Therefore, organisations find it difficult to manage this type of cybersecurity risk.
Without a doubt, the benefits of remote working are endless, however, it also gives room for insider threats. Remote work can make it more challenging for organisations to detect and prevent insider threats, misuse or leak of information – intentionally or unintentionally, and unauthorised access.
6 Best Practices to Resolve the Biggest Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work
Addressing these cybersecurity risks is crucial if you want your organisation to have a secure remote working environment.
1. Build an Efficient Cybersecurity Culture
Since remote workers work outside the premises of the business, it is important they become their own cybersecurity experts. Build a cybersecurity culture where remote workers will feel empowered and responsible to handle various cybersecurity risks. Ensure your workers have the right knowledge of various security risks associated with remote working and best practices to follow to mitigate such risks.
2. Strengthen Endpoint Security
Just as devices are the first line of attack for cyber attackers, so should they be the first line of defense against cyber attackers. Devices used by remote workers are often more vulnerable than company-owned devices. As a result, establishing robust endpoint security is crucial to safeguard against unauthorised access, malware, and other malicious activities.
Start by ensuring that all devices are equipped with updated antivirus software, firewalls, and encryption tools. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and enforcing strong password policies further fortifies the security of endpoints. This security plan gives your remote employees the same protection the onsite employees enjoy, which also secures your business.
3. Educate and Train Employees:
As an organisation, before an employee both remote and onsite, begins working with you, it is important you see that they are trained in so many aspects of the company, especially cybersecurity. This educational practice is essential as it helps keep employees informed on the former and latest cybersecurity risks and the best ways to mitigate them. The training could include educating your remote workforce about common cyber threats, such as phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and ransomware.
Also, it is important to carry out this training section tri-monthly. This fosters a security-conscious culture, thereby empowering your employees to be proactive in protecting sensitive data.
4. Provide Secure Network Access
Since remote workers do not use the company’s provided secure internet connection or other networks for all company work, it is essential for organisations to provide various secure remote access technologies for remote workers. These technologies include virtual private networks (VPNs), remote desktop protocols (RDPs), or cloud-based solutions. Also, ensure these technologies are updated with the latest security patches and use strong encryption protocols. This secure remote access mitigates the risk of phishing attacks and unauthorised access.
5. Enforce the Need for Strong Passwords and Authentication Processes
Using simple passwords or leaving default passwords is one area that should be addressed continuously. The use of simple default passwords is one of the cybersecurity risks of remote work. This is because cybercriminals and hackers can easily guess these passwords and get access to the network.
To resolve this issue, enforce the need for all employees to create strong passwords that will be difficult to guess and that same password should not be used for multiple platforms. Also, MFA should be included in the verification process to protect unsafe or weak passwords and against brute force attacks. Some MFA authentication providers to implement include Google Authenticator, Duo Security, AuthPoint MFA, Authy, and Auth0.
Note: Ensure that any cloud-based platforms your remote employee has access to should be MFA enabled
6. Secure Data Storage and Transfer
With the increase in remote work, data storage and transfer have become critical points of concern. Utilise secure cloud storage services that employ robust encryption and access controls. Encrypt sensitive data at rest and in transit to protect it from unauthorised access. Also, implement secure file-sharing mechanisms and train employees on how to identify and use encrypted communication channels for sensitive information
Protect your Remote Workforce with GKM2 Solutions Today!
Your remote workers are also essential parts of your organisation and if they are targeted by any form of cyber-attack, it will significantly affect your business. That is where GKM2 comes in.
We can help you proactively secure your remote workforce environment and offer effective security measures to resolve the biggest cybersecurity risks associated with remote work.
Contact us today or call +61 2 9161 7171!