As remote work becomes more and more popular, cybersecurity teams must handle new threats. Employees who work remotely rely on their home networks and often their own devices to execute tasks, which poses a number of risks. When remote workers utilize insecure devices and networks, attackers strive to exploit the gaps that are created.
Nonetheless, remote work is here to stay, since the perks are simply too tempting. According to a Gartner poll, even after the pandemic, 47% of companies will allow workers to work remotely, and 82% will allow employees to work remotely at least one day each week.
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The dangers of cybercrime
Almost every corporation faces a considerable commercial risk from cybercrime, and many are poorly prepared. It’s no longer a question of whether you’ll be a victim; it’s a question of when. Recent moves to cloud-based settings, data sharing, and the usage of various apps to perform everyday business all increase the potential of cybersecurity concerns including active attacks, data theft and loss, and ransomware demands.
The financial cost of cyberattacks
- According to the FBI, cybercrime cost the United States $3.5 billion in 2019. However, because many attacks and invasions go unreported, the true cost might be far greater.
- The average ransom demand is above $100,000, and it is steadily increasing. Furthermore, almost a third of all organizations hit by ransomware pay the price.
- A malware assault may cost a corporation more than $2.5 million on average.
Damage to company reputation
- According to a Forbes Insight survey, 46% of companies have experienced reputational loss as a consequence of a data breach.
- The impact of a cyber assault on the value of a company’s stock prices can be significant.
- Following a data breach, the greatest and most significant breaches are linked to a 5-9% drop in reputational intangible capital.
- Reputational damage may have an influence on your suppliers, as well as your relationships with partners, investors, and other stakeholders in your company.
Legal ramifications of a data leak
- Large government fines, litigation expenses, legal bills, costs of notification, brand depreciation, and shareholder equity difficulties are among the challenges that businesses that are hacked face.
- Companies that have experienced a data breach must tell persons affected by the data breach in most states that have notification breach legislation.
- Many of the related claims might wind up as class-action lawsuits, possibly dramatically increasing the total cost of the breach.
Cybersecurity for remote employees
According to a report by Tenable, 74% of businesses blame their newest wave of cybersecurity breaches on technical flaws connected with remote work arrangements.
Even if your connection is generally safe, most individuals don’t have the same security tools if they work from home. Working from a coffee shop or any unprotected public wifi network dramatically increases the danger of security breaches. Fortunately, you have some remote work security best practices you can follow.
Good password management
When it comes to reducing cybersecurity threats, good password management is sometimes overlooked. A hacker may take over your accounts and obtain access to vital systems for your company with just one hacked password.
Password managers are highly recommended for creating strong passwords and ensuring that no password is reused. This eliminates the need for employees to remember or write down each password they use at work, allowing them to stay productive.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA is an additional layer of protection that verifies that anyone attempting to access an online account is who they claim to be. The user must first provide their login and password. They will then be requested to submit another piece of information before they can receive access.
With 2FA, even if one of these criteria is compromised, the account will not be unlocked. Even if your password or phone is hacked, the chances of someone else obtaining your second-factor information are little to none.
Keeping devices and software up to date
A large quantity of software runs on today’s mobile devices. This includes operating systems like Android and iOS, as well as the apps we use to conduct anything from word processing to photo editing to sound recording.
All of this software must be kept up to date to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited. This entails applying software developers’ updates to close security weaknesses discovered in their products.
Updates are important because they address known weaknesses in software that attackers can exploit to get access to your devices. New security measures make it more difficult for hackers to get access to your devices.
Secure internet connection
It is critical that remote employees’ internet connections are safe when they use online corporate systems and send emails to coworkers and team managers. Hackers can get access to and steal critical information through an unprotected link. This might include the employee’s personal information and sensitive data maintained by the organization via an insecure link.
Make sure your remote staff is not utilizing public Wi-Fi connections, such as those available at coffee shops, in addition to employing the finest antivirus software and other basic security precautions like firewalls. Allowing employees to work in public locations such as coffee shops is not a bad idea. However, you must make certain that your personnel do not use unprotected networks. Request that remote employees utilize your company’s VPN for further protection.
In today’s business environment, it’s critical for you to be inventive and competitive, and allowing your workers to work remotely is absolutely a required step. However, remote work has security vulnerabilities that should be addressed before allowing anybody to work from home – whether permanent remote employees or those who work from home for a few hours each month. Only by successfully responding to this challenge will you be able to completely seize this opportunity to boost talent retention, productivity, and work-life balance for your employees.
It’s important that you know your company’s weaknesses and strengths well and takes precautions according to them. Having a secure work-from-home strategy is not as hard as it sounds.