In recent years, mainly thanks to the recent global pandemic, we have witnessed the birth of the world’s largest remote workforce as millions of employees transitioned into working from the comfort of their own homes. IT departments have been tasked with setting up work-from-home arrangements for entire enterprises.
Moving millions of people, their computers, and valuable data out from a secure office setting poses significant data security vulnerabilities at the best of times, let alone when the transfer is rushed. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed the cybersecurity threat environment, highlighting a number of security and privacy concerns associated with remote work activities like remote access to the internal computer systems, virtual videoconferencing, and staff information security training.
Cybercriminals find it easier to target home users because they are often less secure than at the office or their on-site workplace, where security measures and protections are in place (to at least some extent). In order to do their responsibilities, these remote employees must link to multiple servers and generate personal, sensitive information from their less-secure home office setting.
Because the risk of losing sensitive data or getting hacked at home is significantly higher, let’s go over some key aspects of secure remote work and top advice for staying safe from cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity and Remote Working: Statistics
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak by conducting ransomware assaults on businesses that are unprepared and vulnerable, which is a sad but unavoidable reality. Cyber threats against the financial industry soared by 238% between February and April 2020, owing to the COVID-19 spike. In addition, those polled said that attempts at the damage, rather than just data breaches, are becoming increasingly regular.
Another key research, the Acronis Cyber Readiness Report, reveals more concerning facts regarding the hazards, difficulties, and patterns that have emerged since people began working remotely. Here are some of the key findings from the report.
- Nearly half of all IT managers said they had trouble training and securing remote personnel.
- On average once a day, cybercriminals attack 31% of international firms. The most popular sorts of assaults were phishing attempts, DDoS attacks, and videoconferencing cyberattacks.
- 92% of global institutions have to adapt to new technology to complete the move to remote work. As a result, during the pandemic, 72% of global agencies witnessed an increase in IT costs.
- Despite increased technological investments, successful attacks remain widespread because organizations aren’t focusing on increasing defensive capabilities effectively.
- During the pandemic, video conferencing threats were reported by 39% of all enterprises.
Tips for Staying Safe in the Face of Current and Future Risks
Companies can take a variety of additional actions to create and sustain a secure remote work atmosphere, in addition to securing company data. Collaborating with IT companies and wisely choosing IT services to protect your business from cyberattacks should be a top priority. However, here are some other alternative ways to achieve that.
Secure Passwords and Authentication
The speedy work-from-home transition has raised the demand for multifactor authentication, network management monitoring, and strong password creation. Make sure your company’s systems are protected with a strong firewall and passwords.
According to Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at Thycotic, a cybersecurity company in Washington, D.C., having the correct access to appropriate applications is important for remote workers’ success.
A solid authentication and authorization solution can help automate the process of switching or provisioning remote workers to the proper access techniques and materials. Implementing ‘least privilege’ involves giving an end-user, application, services, or system only the credentials they need to do the work they’ve been given… to help limit the risk of exploits without affecting productivity or requiring IT.
Additionally, make sure to request a two-factor authentication when logging into your systems.
Not only should credentials be longer than 8 characters, with uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and symbols included, but there should also be an additional method to ensure that the person logging in is your staff member. Sending a code to the employee’s email or phone after logging in can be an effective solution.
Obtain a Reliable VPN and Antivirus Software
The first step for all remote workers should be to safeguard their network. When the risks are this high, relying on Windows’ own security software isn’t sufficient. Rather, engage in a solid Virtual Private Network (VPN) and antivirus software from a respected company that is routinely updated.
Upgrade Your Network Security Systems on a Regular Basis
It’s critical to have network security systems, including firewalls, antivirus software, and spam detection tools, on each gadget that remote workers use to obtain company or customer data.
Encourage Staff to Seek Help From the IT Department
Instead of attempting to resolve technical issues on their own, your staff should be encouraged to approach the IT support team. This will guarantee that problems are treated as promptly and safely as possible, thereby preventing a larger problem from emerging in the future.
Prioritize Safe Communication
Verify that the platforms used for company-wide interactions, such as voice and video conferences, are secure. While staying interconnected is necessary, it should not come at the expense of security.
Provide Your Personnel with the Appropriate Technologies and Equipment
Setting up a work-from-home security policy is only the beginning. Now it’s up to you to make sure that your team has the support and technologies they need to stay compatible. Make sure your remote staff has all of the resources they need, from a VPN to a strong password to antivirus software, so they can concentrate on getting the work done rather than worry about compliance.
Many businesses throughout the world are still unsure whether they will be able to return to work in a safe manner. With cybercrime on the rise, now is the moment for businesses to implement the software, procedures, and tools necessary to assure continuity of operations and protect against ransomware attacks. By following the above-mentioned tips you will surely be one step closer to that.