Many businesses have transitioned to a remote work policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With employees continuing to use personal devices for work, companies must take the necessary steps to protect sensitive information and ensure business continuity through comprehensive cybersecurity programs.
With many businesses making a permanent shift to a remote working environment, it’s become necessary for companies and the security professionals supporting them to consider how to change their infrastructure to accommodate this new normal. Securing the technology needed to address new work-from-home cybersecurity concerns requires innovation, careful planning, and cooperation between personnel at all levels of an enterprise.
As employees work remotely, they use various internet-connected devices to interact with company channels containing sensitive information. Attackers have used the unique vulnerabilities of remote work to manipulate the personal devices employees use in their home offices. As workers install mobile versions of clients like Teams and Zoom to their phones and access confidential documents from home, the lines between work and home continue to blur.
Keep reading to learn how bad actors exploit remote workers to steal sensitive information.
Remote workers are the greatest threat to your network security. As businesses transition to remote work, it’s natural for employees to become confused about how to work safely. One of the most common tactics cyberattackers use to compromise remote work cybersecurity is phishing emails.
Phishing emails involve someone pretending to be a legitimate source and tricking a worker into giving up sensitive information or login credentials to access valuable data, steal funds, and more. Without the right cybersecurity measures, phishing emails can make it past filters and straight into an employee’s inbox.
Remote employees’ work laptops and other equipment taken from the office may be secured, but other resources like the Wi-Fi networks employees use at home are not so safe. People rarely think to update their home router software, an oversight that creates security gaps ripe for exploitation. Other defenses, like firewalls and robust antivirus software, are also not often part of a home network.
Using a personal device to complete work can feel liberating. It’s a flexible and effective solution, but it also has its share of risks that jeopardize remote work cybersecurity. Standard home office devices like desk phones and printers can be useful, but they also have many features like cloud access that hackers can exploit to access sensitive information. Making certain calls and printing confidential documents from home can lead to a significant data breach.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your workers from cyberthreats today.
Secure remote network access is a mixture of cybersecurity programs that prevent unauthorized access to a company’s sensitive information and other valuable assets. When you keep a combination of solutions like VPN, endpoint protection, and more, you strengthen your secure remote access plan and improve your security posture.
Secure remote access is essential to remote work cybersecurity. A solid security plan includes the following:
- Multifactor Authentication — Two-factor authentication (2FA) requests users to provide a combination of login credentials, most often a password and authentication token, before they’re allowed access to corporate resources.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN) — VPNs eliminate the risk of remote workers accessing company channels from unsecured network connections. They connect to a private network resource through an encrypted tunnel.
- Workforce Education — Your workforce is the greatest threat to your company’s cybersecurity. Educating your employees on the dangers of phishing scams and other cyberthreats as part of their security and compliance training ensures their protection.
- Endpoint Security — Endpoint security is accomplished through both policy and software. Maintaining an antivirus and firewall solution and patching internet-connected devices are great ways to secure all the endpoints in a network (laptops, desktops, services, etc.).
Cybersecurity compliance involves satisfying requirements set by law or authority to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of sensitive information and other assets. Compliance requirements vary depending on the state, industry, and sector but often involve using specific technologies and processes to protect data. If you want compliance, you need to know what regulations you need to follow.
Understanding what information your organization maintains is essential to establishing cybersecurity compliance and improving remote work cybersecurity. For example, if you store and process personally identifiable information (PII), you need to account for the following:
- Social Security numbers
- First and last name
- Date of birth
Implementing various policies and controls like network monitoring software, data encryption, employee cybersecurity training, and risk and vulnerability assessments may help your organization comply with industry standards and safeguard client and employee data.
The work-from-home trend is here to stay. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed both the professional and cyber threat landscape. If businesses want to continue to thrive, they need to invest in cybersecurity measures to ensure business continuity and protect their partners and employees from exploitation.
Addressing the many work-from-home cybersecurity concerns is difficult. Without an experienced security team behind you, introducing remote work cybersecurity can seem impossible. CTMS is your source for custom, comprehensive managed network services. Our technicians have you covered if you need help securing the technology you need to meet cybersecurity compliance.
CTMS is a technology management provider based in Akron, Ohio. For years, our team has offered a variety of technical solutions for our partners in a wide range of industries. Our primary services are IT security, data backup, disaster recovery, and cloud computing, among a host of other IT consulting solutions.