The remote workforce is exponentially expanding these days. Most people prefer to work in a remote setting due to the opportunities it provides them. It is easier for companies to hire remote workers globally as well.
Due to the benefits for both the employer and employees, businesses forget the security risks of remote work. However, with such an expanded base of operations, it becomes difficult for businesses to monitor cyber security.
ExpressVPN reveals that most businesses are under the threat of security breaches due to repurposed passwords and a lack of proper security measures. More often than not, people tend to reuse passwords or create weak passwords. The study showed that 2 in 5 people use a variation of their name in passwords they create.
They do not take into account the fact that brute-force attacks can very easily breach these passwords. Similarly, other security attacks like malware and ransomware attacks are very common on remote devices as they are usually connected to unprotected networks.
Online Safety For Remote Workers
It is very important for employers to ensure that all their employees are taking proper cybersecurity measures for their devices. Remote workers are less protected due to the lack of a protected network and can also use technology that is not very easy to protect. Many remote workers also use software that is not sanctioned by the company. However, in an attempt to finish their work, they do not put much thought into the possibility of a data breach.
Common Cybersecurity Threats
Remote work increases the attack surface for hackers if they want to breach a specific organization. There are multiple cybersecurity threats that are not very well-known by employees. This is why conducting proper cybersecurity training for remotely working employees is important.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of workforces have started working from their homes rather than going to the office. Even though this has increased the ease of access for employees and employers, organizations are at a heavier risk of data breaches. Threats like phishing emails, malware attacks, brute force attacks, and identity theft are more prominent than ever. Remote devices are not protected by the organization’s network, so creating a cyber security plan for such devices is essential.
Hackers and cybercriminals find it easier to attack a singular device operating outside the organization’s network. Once they have access to the device, it becomes quite easy for them to access the organization’s network. Other than conventional hacking methods, there are multiple other reasons why remote work has increased the threat of cyber attacks. One of the biggest reasons is the increased usage of shadow IT.
Shadow IT refers to unsanctioned software that is not a part of the organization’s software. Usually, remote workers try to work on alternative software to get the work done easily. However, such acts can further weaken the cybersecurity of the organization. Since the remote workforce is comparatively new, securing remote devices has not yet become a prominent issue.
How To Secure Remote Networks?
There are multiple ways to secure a remote network. Mentioned below are some effective measures that can help remote workers protect their devices against hackers and cybercriminals.
Firstly remote workers must protect their devices with a proper VPN service and firewall software. Additionally, proper antivirus software must be installed as well. Organizations must provide proper hardware and software to their remote employees. A strong password must be used for all software so that hackers cannot breach the device with simple brute-force attacks.
Avoid using public networks to do important work. Remote workers must encrypt their data and use a secure network. Try to access confidential files only in a secure network and do not upload or download content over an unprotected network. Additionally, create a proper management program with backups and encryption algorithms. This will ensure that hackers can not delete important data.
Organizations must create a threat detection program and provide proper training to remote workers to update them about recent cyber security threats. Set up an authorization program for all employees so that they have to provide authorization before accessing any important files.
Most importantly, create a proper cloud network that has strict security measures. Make sure that any employee having access to the cloud data needs to re-authorize every time they access the cloud data. Make sure to protect important files with passwords. Additionally, implement a security awareness program for all employees.
A remote workforce increases the attack surface for organizations, thus weakening the security measures of businesses. Even though larger corporations try to provide their own hardware equipment to their remote workers, smaller businesses are unable to do so. Due to this, organizations are more prone to cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. It has become important that proper cybersecurity training must be conducted for remote workers as well.