Managing Cybersecurity Risks in Remote Work

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Written By Emily Collier

Emily Collier is a seasoned writer and technology enthusiast with a strong focus on data security. Her passion lies in exploring the implications and strategies for managing data security posture in the context of remote work.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies have had to rapidly adopt remote work policies. This shift has triggered an unprecedented number of cyber attacks targeting remote workers’ devices and accessing corporate data. Therefore, it is essential to know how to manage cybersecurity risks when working remotely. This article explores the common risks and best practices for keeping your organization and data secure while remote working.

Common Cybersecurity Risks in Remote Work

Remote work exposes companies and individuals to cybersecurity risks, which include:

  • Phishing attacks: Cybercriminals send phishing emails and scam messages posing as a legitimate entity to deceive employees into giving away sensitive information.
  • Unsecured networks: Home Wi-Fi and public networks are less secure than corporate networks, making them vulnerable to cyber attacks.
  • Device Security: Company-issued or employee-owned devices may lack proper security features and become gateways for unauthorized access.
  • Passwords: Weak passwords are usually the easiest vulnerability and entry point for cybercriminals.
  • Cloud-based services: These services are vulnerable if poor security procedures and policies exist.

To mitigate these risks, organizations need to put policies and protocols in place, and employees need to be trained to identify these threats.##Best Practices for Remote Work Security

To keep corporate assets and data safe when working remotely, companies must take proactive security measures to protect against unauthorized access and potential data breaches. Here are some best practices to adopt:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA provides an extra layer of security beyond usernames and passwords to prevent unauthorized access to corporate data by requiring two or more verification methods.
  • Strict Access Controls: Implementing strict access controls and limiting network access rights to only those who need them can lessen the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Regular software updates: Software updates usually include patches to known security vulnerabilities. An organization should have a regular update schedule to ensure that new threats won’t exploit any known weaknesses.
  • Virus and Internet Security Software: Installing an antivirus solution and internet security software can help protect against many traditional security threats, like trojans, malware, and other malicious software.

These basic cyber hygiene measures represent an excellent foundation. More cyber threats require more advanced security procedures.

Mitigating Insider Threats in Remote Working

One of the biggest risks of remote working is the potential for insider threats or negligent employee behavior. According to some experts, insider threats account for over 60% of all data breaches. Therefore, companies cannot only focus on external threats.

Here are some key things organizations can do to mitigate insider threats:

  • Establish clear policies: An administrative policy lays out clear expectations for employee behavior and helps prevent data breaches by showing employees the practical steps they can follow to minimize cybersecurity risks.
  • Mandate secure passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Educate employees on password best practices, such as using a mix of alphabets, symbols, and numbers, and requiring a new password every few months. Two-factor authentication can minimize the risk of these insider threats.
  • Monitor employees’ activities: Monitoring can help detect any risky behavior and ensure employees adhere to the company policies and procedures. However, it’s essential to manage monitoring carefully to avoid infringing on employee privacy rights.

Remote working raises the potential for insider threats, but the risks can be mitigated by implementing these proactive procedures.