Businesses and companies have embraced remote workers from around the world since the Covid-19 period. Remote working is now a popular practice that is not going away any time soon. Businesses have benefitted from this because they now have access to talent without being limited to their countries or borders.
Even when remote working is greatly encouraged, it has also brought about security risks. Cybercrimes and security issues have been on an increase with the welcoming of remote working by businesses. So, below are some of the security risks that are posed by remote working and best practices in combating or minimizing them.
Common Security Risks of Remote Working
Many security risks are associated with working remotely. Some of them include;
Some communications between workers or employers and employees are carried out using email. Email frauds are one of the reasons why cybercriminals make use of email frauds for phishing activities and get a person to drop important data or login credentials so that they will do what they want with that information.
To successfully carry out phishing on an individual, entities or individuals usually pretend to be legitimate sources or organizations. They ask people to give them information that they can use to access important data about a person or organization. They often send URLs through email, so that when the unsuspecting victim clicks on it, they can access information. People fall victim to this when the email they receive has no spam alert because they have passed through the email filters without issues.
Accessing sensitive data through public Wi-Fi
Another common security threat of remote working is that workers may use unsecured Wi-Fi to access important data of the company. When the Wi-Fi is not protected, hackers can access data. This sometimes happens when people access information using public Wi-Fi in a cafe, restaurant, or other open place. It is often advisable that people use a virtual private network (VPN) to access important data.
Use of personal devices
The use of personal devices is sometimes a work security risk. The reason is that not all remote workers ensure that antivirus is on their devices or regularly update their software. When software is not updated regularly, it can pose a problem because there will be security holes that a hacker can use to access information.
Another issue is that when your remote worker stops working for you, they may still be privy to sensitive data because they accessed them on their personal devices. If care is not taken and hackers get access to their devices, your company is at a high-security risk with that information.
Use of weak passwords
Most people do not see the need of using strong passwords to keep their devices and data safe. Making use of weak passwords is a security threat to remote working. For example, using a password that a hacker can easily guess as your login credentials to your company’s website or app only make it easy for a hacker to guess it and access information.
Not encrypting files while sharing
Sensitive data are transferred or shared remotely. Some of these data can contain information about your clients or customers. When these files are not encrypted, especially in transit, cybercriminals can access them and do what they want with them. This is why it is important that files should be encrypted while being shared.
Best Practices to Implement
Educate your employees
The first thing you should do for all your workers, especially remote workers is to educate them on security issues to look out for. Moreover, how they should avoid them. No matter the security measures you put in place if your workers do not know how to harness these security measures, it will be pointless.
Get an SSL certificate
It is essential to buy SSL certificate and Install on your website to prevent the breach of sensitive data. Hacker lookout for data that is not encrypted. When there is no encryption on the data, it is easy for them to exploit that data to their own advantage. However, when an SSL certificate is in place, there is encryption and protection of all data.
Make use of a strong password
Another way of preventing security threats is to ensure that your remote workers use strong passwords. It is even recommended that they use multi-factor authentication like fingerprint, retina, or one-time password in addition to their username and password.
The password should be a combination of upper and lower cases, alphabets, numbers, and symbols. It should not be easily guessed. If remembering the password will be an issue, you can make use of a password manager to store your passwords. You should not use the same password for all logins and periodically change your passwords if you have used them for a while.
Use internal VPN
Your business should have internal VPNs in place. Only workers along with access in your company can use the intranet. With a virtual private network, traffic through the internet is routed from your company’s private network, which makes it difficult if not impossible for cyber criminals to intercept data or decrypt it.
Remote working is not going away anytime soon because it is beneficial to companies. Therefore, it is important that organizations or companies know about the security risks associated with workers working remotely and have to prevent these security issues from rising.