Remote work has increased exponentially over the past two years. Many businesses that have never considered having their employees work from home have jumped on the remote bandwagon. Some of these businesses require employees to work remotely, while others give their team members the option to work from home or work in the office.
Having employees work remotely can be convenient for a number of reasons. It helps employees maintain a positive work/life balance, which has a great effect on their performance. Remote work provides employees with more freedom and flexibility, which also has a positive effect on their overall morale and contentment at work. Another benefit of remote work is that it saves time and money for the employee as well as the business.
Honestly, there’s no question that remote work has multiple benefits for everyone involved. However, along with the benefits, there are a handful of threats that every business with remote workers needs to be aware of.
Many remote work security risks exist because workers are using their home networks, and sometimes their own devices, in order to perform their work responsibilities. Though convenient, remote work makes a company vulnerable to multiple cyber security threats. This is because, when employees work remotely, there could be unsecured wi-fi, computers that are not attended, and even the possibility of a data breach.
Even if a company is on top of cyber security practices and policies, there are many hackers out there that could manage to break through the barriers. This is why it is essential for every remote-work business, even those taking strong security measures, to learn about the top remote security threats and what they can do to prevent them. Next I.T. Remote Security Solutions offers many tools for remote business security that can help businesses keep their data safe while their employees work from home.
Remote Work Security Threats
Take a look at the top 5 security threats to businesses with remote workers:
#1. Phishing Emails
Most hacking attempts come from phishing email attacks. If a phishing attempt is successful, they often lead to a malware infection. While recent news has directed people’s attention to phishing in regards to social media accounts, the threat of phishing into business data is real. In fact, it’s believed that at least half of companies have been the victim of a successful phishing attack.
These attacks come through email, encouraging the opener to click a link or attachment. Whatever they are encouraged to click is a scam with the purpose of collecting login details from the victim, or downloading software that gives the hacker access to the computer.
Phishing scams can be very detailed and professional, making it incredibly difficult for employees to be aware of them. By training employees to identify phishing emails, you can prevent them from falling prey to these scams while they are working from home.
Next IT Remote Security Solutions offers IT Consulting and Cyber Security services that can help you train your remote team to avoid phishing scams.
This Phishing Q&A video answers questions on some of the most common phishing scams:
#2. Unsecured Home WiFi Networks
Many companies allow their remote employees to use their home wifi to access corporate networks. While this isn’t a negative thing on its own, there are potential risks that accompany the practice.
Outdated routers are riddled with holes. These security gaps can be an opening for hackers, enabling them to breach the company’s data. Default passwords left on routers also provide an opening for hackers to exploit the business.
Preventing hacker access through the home wifi network is necessary for the security of your business. You can make sure employees know to change their default password and update it regularly to keep hackers from gaining access. Keeping the router updated also fills in holes and closes security gaps.
Next I.T. Remote Security Solutions has services and resources that can help your employees protect and strengthen their home wifi networks. They can handle every detail to ensure that your data is kept safe.
#3. Poor Passwords
Passwords are a huge issue when it comes to remote security threats. People tend to have multiple passwords for various accounts and devices, which they typically store on their phones or even on handwritten notes. With unsecured passwords out in the open, remote workers are consistently putting the safety of their company at risk. In fact, hackers often target remote employees because they know that they most likely don’t use strong safety measures.
To ensure that passwords are strong and safe from being accessed, determine some password policies that your employees must follow. Make sure your employees are not using personal information in their passwords, as these can be easily guessed. Have your employees use passphrases, creating a phrase of multiple words. These are easy for your employees to remember but difficult for cybercriminals to guess.
See if your passwords are safe using this Cyber Security Checklist:
#4. Unsecured Home Devices
Most remote workers use their personal devices to access the business network when they work from home. Typically, these devices are not very secure. Unlike corporate devices, they don’t have firewalls, encryption, or email filtering. Unless the business has great cyber security through a company such as Next I.T. Remote Security Solutions, they most likely don’t have a secure VPN or encrypted single sign-on.
Next I.T. Remote Security Solutions can help your business set up virtual private networks or a VPN. A VPN will allow your business to have connectivity between devices that is safe and secure. They encrypt data, provide security, and monitor traffic to ensure a protected transfer of data and company communication.
#5. Sharing of Unencrypted Files
Every business has files that need to be shared among multiple parties. While in the office, these files likely follow encryption policies to keep the data safe. However, when there are remote employees, the company often forgets to encrypt data on transit between systems.
Even email and third-party cloud file-sharing services can mean a transfer of unencrypted files. Using secure file-sharing services that have built-in security is essential. These services include Dropbox, WeTransfer, OneDrive, and more.