In the new normal, most professionals work from less distracting home offices, enjoy the benefits of flexible scheduling, and achieve a better work-life balance. Workers have reported immense benefits of working in remote setups.
Apart from the flexible work schedules, several other advantages can include reduced interruptions by colleagues, increased productivity, reduced company overheads, and eliminated commute times.
On the flipside, remote work security setups are more vulnerable to work-related security and privacy risks, since your employees are working off-premise.
This detailed guide highlights the top security risks for remote work setups and the best practices to beef up your remote workstation’s cybersecurity posture.
Working from Home: Security Risks for Businesses
A remote employee is typically the most susceptible to security threats. Most network security incidents result from their actions and can cause rippling effects throughout the company. Even with a few remote workers, mobile devices like laptops and company smartphones pose security risks.
Be wary of the following leading remote work security issues:
- Difficulty managing all employees and devices – An updated inventory of equipment, devices, and users can aid safety monitoring, but it’s not as easy to achieve.
- Insecure passwords – Implementing a system of continuous compulsory password changes is a simple and critical step that most companies miss.
- Phishing emails – This ever-growing threat lures individuals to provide sensitive information and has caused people and businesses to lose over $3.5 billion in 2019 alone.
- Unsecured personal networks and devices – Many workers work on a slew of unsecured devices in a mashup between networks and operating systems. This causes more vulnerabilities less prevalent in typical office setups.
- Video Attacks – For instance, the leading video app Zoom has faced criticism for increased “Zoom-bombing” incidents where threat actors hijack meetings and distribute malicious content.
- Fragile recovery and backup systems – A reliable recovery and backup strategy can rescue your organization in a worst-case scenario, but it’s not always easy to get it right.
Cybersecurity Best Practices to Beef Up Remote Work Security
The following tips will help you overcome challenges and enhance your overall remote working cybersecurity against advanced threats.
Deploy The Zero Trust Model
Remote work has enabled movement beyond the company perimeter, and the increased cybersecurity breaches have rendered the trust concept extinct. The zero trust model is guided by the “never trust, always verify” approach. It protects data through encryption and ensures continual access verification.
Provide The Right Technology to Staff
Your employees must have the necessary compliance resources and tools, including antivirus software, VPN, and password managers. With a fully-equipped arsenal, your teams won’t worry about compliance and will have time to get their jobs done.
Update Your Network Security Systems Regularly
A network security system is vital in all devices used by your remote teams to access customer or company data. However, it’s also crucial that you keep these systems up to date. These include spam filtering tools, firewalls, and antivirus software. You may also consider going for a mobile device management platform that wipes any sensitive data in stolen or lost devices.
Regulate Reliance On Personal Devices
The HP Wolf Security report notes that about 70% of office staff admit using office devices for personal activities. Out of the respondents, 69% acknowledged using personal printers and laptops for office operations.
This poses several security risks since personal devices might use outdated antivirus software or lack password protection. To avoid the numerous risks, restrict the policy to workers within the office and instruct remote teams to use work-provided gadgets.
Leverage Remote Browser Isolation
This has quickly turned out to be a critical endpoint security tool, protecting devices by moving internet browsing to cloud-based remote containers instead of endpoints to protect them from phishing and web-based malware. No web content will run on their devices, hence the optimal safety.
Promote Robust Cybersecurity Hygiene at Every Level
A massive majority of data breaches result from human error. Threat actors can exploit human vulnerabilities with ease and disrupt operations in seconds. Excellent cybersecurity hygiene includes:
- Relying on unique passwords.
- Avoiding unverified links and email documents.
- Using tools and applications from legitimate sources.
- Avoiding public Wi-Fi networks.
Use Internet Security and Antivirus Software for Your Home Networks and Devices
A comprehensive internet security and antivirus suite will protect you and your staff. They take the work off your shoulders by providing automatic remote work security against numerous threats like ransomware attacks, zero-day attacks, Trojans and worms, malware and viruses, spyware, and phishing scams.
Implement Robust Password Management
Remote workers use multiple platforms and software, which require them to manage various accounts. Password management simplifies the effort of memorizing complex passwords every time a user logs into each account.
Advanced password management solutions like LastPass allow remote workers to create single, strong meter passwords that secure multiple accounts on a centralized dashboard.
Use A Virtual App or Desktop Infrastructure
Virtual desktop infrastructure is your best shot at achieving operational standardization and resilience. It standardizes deployment, allows application streaming for asset inventory and software assurance, improves asset inventory, allows security software coverage, and enables BYOD policy. Some examples of these include:
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
- Azure Virtual Desktops
- AWS Workspaces
Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication
Corporate entities can regulate authorization levels and enable minimum access to necessary sensitive data. With this approach, you’ll achieve greater data privacy and robust network security from insider threats caused by human errors. This is the most advanced strategy of safeguarding corporate assets and remote workers’ data and privacy.
Always Use Secure Connections
Never use unsecured Wi-Fi networks. But this doesn’t mean you should forbid your teams from working at their preferred coffee shop occasionally once they’re confident it’s safe. Instead, make them understand that they should secure their connection through the company VPN whenever they decide to work in public spaces.
Have Reliable Remote Cybersecurity Support
You can’t have everything under control, especially if cybersecurity isn’t your line of business. Fortunately, a reliable, experienced expert from Globalquest can help enhance your overall cybersecurity for remote workers. Our experts understand the latest trends, threats, and security solutions and will always secure your company data and ensure compliance.
Globalquest has served small and medium enterprises in Western New York for over two decades, supplying them with the necessary IT solutions. We tailor our IT services to your organizational needs and objectives, allowing your teams to focus on your company’s core mission.
Reach out to us for a comprehensive assessment of your remote work security setup’s overall security posture and to get the right cybersecurity solutions to ward off intruders from your infrastructure and data.