Cybersecurity Threats In Remote Work Environments
July 17th, 2020
While NE companies and employees alike are excited about the shift to remote work, so are cyber attackers. A shift to remote work means employees will operate outside of the protection of the company’s IT security. In a remote work setup, both the company and the employee must take precautions to keep their data secure from these top cybersecurity threats:
Unsecure Home Wi-Fi
Companies typically use secure Wi-Fi networks that are difficult for attackers to sneak into. However, the same is not true of home networks, which usually have wired equivalent privacy (WEP). These types of networks are easy for attackers to get into, which makes company data also vulnerable when accessed through a home Wi-Fi network.
We use passwords for almost everything. Unfortunately, while office-issued equipment may have secure passwords, some employees’ equipment at home may not. Wi-Fi connections are the best example, as are personal laptops. These are easy ways for attackers to gain access to multiple accounts. The most effective mitigation for this is to train employees on the importance of maintaining secure passwords as well as spotting signs of malicious activity.
Numerous people in NE have been victimized by phishing scams recently. Phishing scams are legitimate-looking e-mails or SMS messages that contain malicious links or attachments. Once the user clicks on the malicious link, the attacker gains access to their device and accounts. Remote employees need to be aware of and learn to spot phishing scams to avoid compromising their personal devices, which they will likely use when working at home.
Most employees are cautious of the files they download off the Internet, while others may be cautious of phishing scams. However, there are other forms of fileless attacks that many are still unaware of. These may come in the form of apps or seemingly legitimate app updates, and they are generally more difficult for antivirus apps to detect.
The Internet Of Things
66% of homes in NE benefit from the convenience offered by the Internet of Things (IoT). However, this brilliant invention is a gaping hole in terms of cybersecurity. With IoT in place, attackers have numerous entry points to choose from that are not protected by antivirus software. Thus, an employee connecting an office-issued laptop to their personal IoT means increased vulnerability for the company.
What Can You Do?
Although you, the company owner, should protect your employees, the members of your staff also have to protect the company from cybersecurity threats. Thus, before shifting to remote work, companies should establish a strategy that involves intensive education for employees. Meanwhile, here are some measures you can take to boost your cybersecurity:
- Implement two-factor authentication for cloud data, collaboration platforms, company devices, and other accounts.
- Do not allow personal equipment (i.e. laptops, phones, and IoT) access to secure company networks.
- Improve incident response.
- Update employees on cybersecurity best practices as well as company policies regarding cybersecurity and data privacy.
With the rise of remote employment, cybersecurity is no longer a niche. All employees must have a basic understanding of the threats that loom around their remote work environment and, subsequently, how to protect themselves from those threats. Contact us today to learn more about how to strengthen your company’s cybersecurity.