Working from home is here to stay and, if it makes sense for your operations, then it’s a no-brainer to stick to a format beloved by employees everywhere.
However, you should also be aware that working from home creates new holes and poses new cybersecurity risks, especially over the long term. From exposed networks to human nature, here are the top five cybersecurity risks to remote employees and how you can prevent them.
1. Home Networks
When everyone is in the office, the security team has full control of the network. The team controls the infrastructure, the malware detection, and even all the permissions an employee has on their machine. In the case of remote work, employers have very little insight into how secure an employee’s network actually is. From working in a coffeeshop to a home network without a password, these are opportune scenarios for a hacker to break into your employees device. Beyond that, many home networks don’t come equipped with firewalls, creating even more vulnerabilities.
To minimize risk, have strict permissions on company-issued computers and install necessary malware detection beforehand. Make sure you have the ability to push updates to computers to improve security without having anyone come into an office. On top of that, properly educate your employees on updating the networks in their home to minimize risk.
2. Losing Sight of Security
As mentioned, security teams start to lose control of different aspects when employees are not in the office, but almost even more concerning is that security tends to feel like less of a priority. Without IT or leaders enforcing certain standards in person, it’s easier for employees to forget about it or minimize the importance compared to their other work. We tend to forget about things when they’re not in our face every day.
As a security professional, consistently remind your executive team of the ongoing threats of working from home and how important it is to prevent data loss or leakage that your company keeps security top of mind. Exercises, training days, and incentives are all great ways to keep your message front and center.
3. Tired Employees
Employees report being more tired when working from home. As the lines blur between work and home life, people find themselves working more and, as a result, feel more fatigued. When employees feel fatigued, they cut corners and there’s more risk that they may make a mistake by going to a dangerous website or not fully thinking through a dangerous link.
As an employer, remind your team about the importance of work-life balance. Encourage them to have a specific end time and that quality of work and their attention to detail is more important than quantity. Continue to learn and address the challenges of working from home and always support them to do the best job they can.
4. Personal Devices
With the rise of work from home, along came the rise of bring your own device (BYOD). Employees are starting to use their personal computers and phones for work purposes, which leaves security teams with less oversight.
Ensure you have employees install a mobile device manager (MDM) in case of a lost or stolen device. This will give you the ability to wipe the device of all company data. Ensure all company data is kept within a few applications for a quick wipe.
5. Passwords & Authentication
With less oversight on the network and devices, adding a layer of security by implementing multi-factor authentication is a necessity. Safeguarding company data with layers of authentication will give you peace of mind and confidence that only those with correct access are operating in your organization’s online spaces.
For more information on organizational training and cybersecurity solutions, contact TCecure today! firstname.lastname@example.org
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