The remote work trend has been growing rapidly in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Working from home or another remote location offers greater flexibility and convenience for both employers and employees.
However, remote working also presents its own set of security risks that must be taken into account when developing a remote work policy. Remote workers have been the cause of a data breach in 20% of organizations—remote work security cannot be ignored.
From data breaches to unsecured networks, there are numerous ways malicious actors can exploit remote workers and the businesses they work for. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common risks associated with remote work, as well as tips on how to keep your business secure in this digital age.
The Security Risks of Remote Work
Without the proper remote work security in place, remote workers could put businesses at risk. Employees are the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Without the security and protection that the office provides, remote workers can become unwitting victims of cybercriminals. Some security risks include:
Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Without the right encryption and authentication protocols in place, remote workers may be vulnerable to hackers when connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Remote workers may be more susceptible to phishing attacks since they aren’t in the physical office environment where security protocols are typically enforced.
Without proper encryption of remote workers’ data, their sensitive information could be stolen by malicious actors.
If remote workers don’t regularly change their passwords or use strong enough passwords, they can be vulnerable to attacks.
Weak Backup and Recovery Systems
If remote workers don’t have a strong backup and recovery system in place, their data could be lost if there is an attack or other issue.
How Businesses Can Protect Against These Security Risks
Businesses can take a number of steps to protect remote workers and their data. Some tips for remote work security include:
1. Implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
BYOD is the practice of remote workers using their own devices to access sensitive company data. This should be done in conjunction with security systems like mobile device management (MDM) software to ensure that remote workers’ devices are secure and up-to-date.
2. Encourage Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires remote workers to provide two or more credentials when logging into a remote work environment. This can include a password, security token, biometric scan, and/or another form of authentication.
3. Establish Policies on Password Best Practices
Remote work security includes teaching remote workers best practices when it comes to creating and regularly changing their passwords. Stronger passwords are harder for hackers to crack, so businesses should require remote workers to regularly change their passwords and use special characters and capital letters in them.
4. Never Leave Your Laptop Unattended
Remote workers should always make sure to lock their devices and never leave them unattended. This is especially important for remote workers who work in public places as it is easier for malicious actors to access their data when their device is left without supervision.
5. Use Caution with Wireless Networks
It’s important to always double-check the security of a remote worker’s connection. They should make sure that any wireless network they connect to is secure and encrypted with WPA2 or another encryption protocol.
6. Keep Software Up-to-Date
Software updates patch vulnerabilities in security systems. Failure to regularly update software can leave remote workers vulnerable to attacks. Businesses should ensure remote workers are regularly updating their software and operating systems.
7. Migrate Business Applications to the Cloud
The cloud is much more secure than remote workers’ local systems. Businesses should migrate their applications to the cloud to ensure remote workers have access to safe, secure environments. Plus, the cloud provides remote workers with remote access to applications and data, enabling better collaboration between employees.
8. Educate Employees on Remote Work Security
Remote workers should be educated on the importance of remote work security and how they can protect themselves, their remote work environment, and their company’s data.
Businesses should provide remote worker training programs that cover all aspects of security, including remote access security, remote device security, remote communication security, and remote storage security.
Keep Remote Employees Secure with Total IT
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect remote workers and business data. At Total IT, we can help remote teams stay safe and secure with security solutions tailored to the needs of your remote workers.
Our services include proactive protection of networks, access to expert IT professionals, reliable data backup solutions, and more. Schedule a free consultation today for remote work security solutions designed to keep remote workers safe.