Cybersecurity for Remote Workers
Did you know that 72% of cyber attacks take place in companies with less than 100 employees? These companies are ideal targets for hackers since they have little to no budget for IT security. Not only that, but as remote working increases in popularity, more and more companies put themselves at increased risk.
How do you keep security when employees work remotely? The key to successful security in remote work includes the proper guidance from a trained individual. Elevated Technologies founder, Jason Rorie, gives his insights for implementing a remote working security policy in his book, Small Business – A Hacker’s Playground: Cyber Security.
Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Working
“Surveys have been done that focused on the security of remote workers. They have shown that organizations were aware of the risks of freelancers and contractors; however, the reason they faced problems was that they were unable to enforce the security policies and procedures on their remote workers. Here are some significant risks that organizations face:
- Failure to enforce security
- Lack of commitment for best security practices
- Risky behavior on the part of the remote workers”
Remote working security awareness can only go so far. Individual staff must understand their role in protecting against cyber threats. Employees working remotely regularly access company data on privately-owned devices and wifi networks. Companies are exposing themselves and their stakeholders to nearly infinite risks. Mobile devices are physically easy to steal or hack, especially in public places like coffee shops. Unsecured wifi networks might be allowing hackers an open door to your device’s data. It is crucial that remote employees know how to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats.
Security Training for Remote Workers
“With security awareness training, your employees will learn how important it is to secure their laptops and their personal computers before they start working remotely. It is important for them to realize that security awareness does not only depend on securing a computer system. It also refers to the people present in the company, and how they communicate with others while handling important information.”
Even the best cybersecurity system is not enough. Human error plays a big part in maintaining cybersecurity. Proper work from home security awareness training empowers remote employees to protect data on their end.
Training should include teaching remote workers to avoid the following:
Sharing a Computer
“There is a high risk of being unable to track all the websites being visited, and therefore, this could put your office data at risk.”
Sharing a computer increases the traffic and exposure on that device. The other user(s) might not exercise the same caution in protecting the device. Also, should a cybersecurity incident occur, the cause would be harder to track down. Companies should have a specific device for each employee to perform work-related activities.
Accessing Other Unsecured Networks
“Hackers can easily access the information being sent on the internet because the connection is not a secured one.”
Employees must ensure a secure network connection at the remote site(s). Whether at home or somewhere else, secure remote network access keeps hackers locked out. Don’t allow the internet access to your device’s data unsecurely.
Remote Workers Security Best Practices
While training for remote employees is vital, there are other tools to help protect your company data. There are tools and cybersecurity tips for remote workers to take advantage of for daily use. Consider implementing these tools within your remote working security policy.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
“Just like a firewall, a VPN protects your laptop’s data online while having front end security and appearance, while being part of a Wide Area Network.”
“When this process is carried out successfully, the remote employee will have a secure connection and access to the company’s internal network.”
If wifi networks can be so dangerous, how do you secure a remote connection? What is the most secure way to connect to your network? Secure remote network access begins with a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs make sure that no third party can see any information communicated to or from your computer. Every remote employee should be using a VPN when on their computer.
“The function of the firewall is to filter the information coming through the internet into your company’s, or home’s computer systems.”
A firewall guards the data coming in and out on a network, blocking anything it deems suspicious. Most often, this includes viruses and hackers.
Using the Cloud
“Data is safe with the cloud because it is not stored on the remote employee’s personal device.”
“Cloud-based services are secured with a password and two-factor authentication before the data could be accessed.”
Refrain from storing important company data on individual devices. Instead, minimize cybersecurity risk and centralize company data through secure cloud hosting. Not only does this reduce your remote worker’s cybersecurity risk, but it also makes it easier for remote employees to access company data.
Continuing to Improve Your Cybersecurity for Remote Workers
The technology of the modern workplace is continually evolving. As new risks appear, Elevated Technologies works hard to provide relevant and effective solutions. Contact us today to find out more about protecting your company’s remote staff!
For additional information and resources, check out more from our owner, Jason Rorie, and his book: Small Business – A Hacker’s Playground: Cyber Security.