The pandemic made remote work possible out of necessity. And while many businesses are going back to in-office or hybrid work environments, many businesses and employees alike are opting to work from home indefinitely. It’s time for businesses to prioritize remote work security because while remote work brings a lot of advantages, it can also create some significant security challenges.
A recent report showed that 20% of companies experienced a breach in connection with a remote worker. As a result, 24% of respondents said they ended up paying unexpected expenses in order to mitigate or recover from the attack. Given the rise in remote work, what can you do to keep your organization safe — without impacting your remote work plans? Here are a few dos and don’ts to consider when strategizing your approach to remote work security.
❌ Don’t Use Unsecure or Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be risky and leave you open to man-in-the-middle attacks, which is when a cybercriminal intercepts information between two parties. As a result, hackers can get their hands on very sensitive information. For example, they can grab:
- Login details
- Credit card numbers
- Bank account details
✅ Do Use a VPN
You can safely access your network and critical data by using a VPN to establish a secure, encrypted connection. A VPN encodes all data that flows through it. In this way, even if someone were to intercept a transmission, they wouldn’t be able to read it without the decryption key.
❌ Don’t Open Unknown Email Attachments
Attachments and links from unidentified senders should be avoided. This is a typical phishing technique to trick you into clicking on unsecured links or opening attachments with malicious code hidden inside. Remote employees should be trained on recognizing suspicious emails and what to do when they come across one.
✅ Do Use Extra Email Security
The security that comes with your organization’s email system may not be robust enough. Outlook security alone, may be insufficient to guard against phishing attempts. It’s best to consider stronger security measures like Managed Inbox Detection and Response that allow employees to be part of your security strategy. Users can submit suspicious emails to be verified. If a threat, they are removed globally across the business email account. If they are deemed safe, the user is notified that it is ok to proceed. This type of interactive security protections can help boost your security and teach employees what malicious emails look like in the process.
❌ Don’t Delay Important System Updates
The “remind me later” button can be a two-edged sword. Even though it can save you time in the short run, it can cause significant headaches and problems long term. System updates are released by software businesses to upgrade software as well as address any potential problems and vulnerabilities. You can be endangering your system by delaying these upgrades.
✅ Do Regularly Install Security Updates
Applying system updates regularly can keep your computer and systems operating smoothly. Updates are typically free, and they can address specific vulnerabilities that many other users have encountered. By installing them, you allow your remote workforce to benefit from the hard work of the developer’s security team.
❌ Don’t Presume Your Employees Have Good Cyber Hygiene
One of the leading causes of successful cyberattacks and breaches is human error. As a result, businesses shouldn’t assume they are secure just because they have network-level security in place. One of the most common cyber tactics is the use of phishing. Your staff could be susceptible to phishing attacks, which can provide cybercriminals an entry point into your entire network.
✅ Do Inform Staff Members About Best Practices for Cybersecurity
Employees should get ongoing training on emerging threats. In addition, businesses can help ensure their staff is aware of hazards by providing security awareness training. You should also hold continuous check-ins and training to ensure they’re up to date on the latest cybersecurity techniques and threats, as well as what to do in the event of a suspected attack.
To ensure your company’s remote workforce is ready for anything that comes their way, you can rely on TPx. With secure remote working tools, TPx can make sure your workforce is protected no matter how it’s dispersed. See what TPx can do for your company today.
And to learn more about all the ins and outs of remote work, read our comprehensive guide to setting up IT for remote work. Learn more about the security you need and how to optimize your infrastructure to provide the best remote work experience.