Working from home has become more widespread since the pandemic. Remote working continues to become prevalent across several sectors, even as the pandemic fades. As more services are digitized and more people work online, most companies also have an increased security risk.
While working from home is convenient, it also risks your company’s data and networks. A remote workforce is vulnerable to many cyber security risks, especially with employees relying on their networks to complete tasks. Data breaches, unattended computers, and unsecured wi-fi connections come with myriad dangers. Yet, remote working is here to stay!
This article examines 4 top security risks of remote working that companies should be aware of and how they can address them to keep their operations safe.
- Unsecured Internet Networks
When employees work remotely, most of them are usually using the public internet to access company files. As a result, cybercriminals can access sensitive information and steal or intercept data. To reduce vulnerabilities and risks of using unsecured internet networks, many companies have virtual private networks (VPNs) that keep everything secure.
- Weak Security Passwords
Some employees usually select predictable or weak passwords for their company’s accounts and applications. They tend to repeat passwords and not lock their computers because they work from home. Even if other security measures like VPNs have been implemented, such actions may put the entire company at risk. A good example is employees who opt to use the same password for most of the accounts. A cybercriminal may gain access to several linked accounts once he hacks one.
- Phishing and Email Scams
Most employees worldwide are often vulnerable to phishing and email scams. Phishing scams rely heavily on eye-catching stories to exploit people’s emotions and fears, tricking them into clicking links to spoof sites or opening malicious attachments. The emails appear legitimate and credible, and by responding, one might even be fooled into providing sensitive information like bank account details. Besides, company files and information may become infected with malicious malware.
- Sharing Unencrypted Files
Most companies often do not consider data encryption in transit between systems, even though all their files on a server or network are encrypted. Such files could probably fall into the hands of cybercriminals if they aren’t encrypted. Stolen information can lead to reputational risk and ransomware attacks.
How to Keep Your Business and Remote Workforce Safe
Companies should ensure that data and systems are protected because remote working is here to stay. Companies can take the following actions to protect themselves and their employees from cyber security risks.
- Secure all the important technology and software that may pose security risks.
- Provide employees with remote work security training to operate safely and identify potential security threats.
- Establish a remote work security policy, which includes a cyber security policy to help protect the company’s digital data and information.
With the above precautions, companies and their remote employees can be more confident in their remote security and shut the door to any potential cybercriminals who want to take advantage of them.