What You Need to Know About Working Remotely
This past year has led to dramatic changes in the workplace and has drastically shifted how many businesses conduct their work. Many workplaces have transitioned online following the rise of COVID-19 as organizations began to require their employees to work remotely. Although this helped to stall the spread of COVID-19, it has also led to a massive increase in cyber threats and the rise of cybercriminals. Phishing, malware, and other cybercrimes skyrocketed as cybercriminals took advantage of the online shift. Employees tend to be less careful and often are unaware of the dangers hidden in their online workspace. It is important to be aware of the cyberthreats that exist to target individuals working remotely and learn how to keep your sensitive business information secure.
Most Common Cyber Security Risks :
1. Phishing Schemes
Employees that are not trained on the dangers of phishing may be vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. It is easy for cybercriminals to target employees working remotely because often they are unable to immediately communicate with one another. Many employees assume that any requests coming into their inbox from managers or other co-workers are legitimate. Cybercriminals take advantage and exploit this vulnerability.
Solution: Educate yourself and your employees about common phishing schemes and how to avoid them. We have a blog post dedicated to tips on how to spot and avoid phishing schemes here.
2. Using Public Wi-Fi
Many employees who might be working remotely may not have a suitable space to work at home. They may opt to work at a local café or another public space. If the employee chooses to use the public Wi-Fi available, this can be problematic and introduces new security risks. Other individuals have access to the same network and hackers can access your information and monitor your website traffic. It is important to protect your data and find a way to encrypt your information.
Solution: The best solution would be to use a personal hotspot, either from your phone or another dedicated device. Additionally, you should use a VPN which can help protect your website traffic.
3. Using Personal Devices for Work
It is so easy to grab your own devices to handle work matters when working remotely. This could be a security risk for you and your company! Your work computer likely has security measures in place that your personal devices do not, such as a VPN, encrypted drives, antivirus software, and endpoint protection. Your personal computer could be easily compromised by a third party and may put your company network and information at risk.
Solution: Keep your work and personal business separate and on their own respective computers.
4. Weak Passwords
Human error is much easier to exploit than machine error. That is why cybercriminals target account passwords to access sensitive information. Many employees may choose weak passwords that can be breached in under a minute or less. Having weak passwords or repeating passwords can put your company information at risk.
Solution: Make sure that you are using a unique and strong password for each account. When possible, also try to use two-factor or multi-factor verification. It can be helpful to use a password management tool (like LastPass) to help create strong passwords and keep track of them for you. Read more here.
5. Unencrypted File Sharing
When you are not working in the same spaces as your coworkers, you may have to send sensitive information via email. It can be risky to send sensitive data without encrypting it as it may be intercepted by a malicious third party. By encrypting the data, you will keep the information safe from unwanted eyes.
Solution: Make sure to always encrypt your data.
6. Working in Public Spaces
When you are working in a public space, it is important that you consider that there are others around you. Someone sitting behind you may be able to see all the information that you are working on and identify confidential information.
Solution: Make sure to block lines of sight from others in the same space as you and never leave your devices unlocked or unattended.
What Else Can I Do to Prevent a Breach While Working Remotely?
You should consider engaging cybersecurity professionals like Cyber Unit. They will monitor your systems for cyber threats around the clock so you can rest in peace. You can prevent attacks with customizable and affordable protections plans, which will ultimately save you from a potentially costly disaster.
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