The Covid pandemic has had a lingering effect on many aspects of our daily lives, and the way we work has been particularly altered as a result. Employees who previously commuted to an office every day without thinking twice about it have discovered that they prefer the work-life balance that remote or hybrid working can offer, and so have made the switch permanent. This change can, of course, offer many benefits to both staff and their employers, including increased flexibility and improved motivation and productivity, but it’s important to recognise that there are also some cybersecurity risks associated with remote work.
The Risk Of Unsecured WiFi Networks
When your staff are free from presenting themselves at the office, the world is their oyster when it comes to finding a place to get through their workload. And today, every coffee shop and public space tends to offer great WiFi coverage. However, using these unsecured WiFi networks can be a highly risky move. Without the encryption that comes with a secured, private network, anyone in the vicinity could be able to hack the information being shared online. This can prove disastrous for employers who can be left to pick up the pieces following a data breach.
Poor Password Management
Whether your team is at home or in the office, be sure to stress the importance of good password management. Using strong passwords which are kept private (and certainly never written down), and don’t simply constitute an easily guessable word or phrase is the bare minimum when it comes to protecting your networks and systems. Make sure passwords are updated regularly (set a reminder if it helps), or, better still, introduce multi-factor authentication sign-ins. This can help to reduce the risk of a data breach, as today’s hackers are using increasingly sophisticated software tools to crack passwords within seconds.
Lack Of Knowledge Of Company Policies
Whether you work with the same team day in, day out, or you tend to deal with freelance contractors, make sure that everyone knows the company’s policy when it comes to cybersecurity protocols. This should be considered a key part of any onboarding process for new staff (even temporary) and must cover procedures for safe remote work too.
Using Personal Devices
Modern tech is getting more and more sophisticated all the time, but if your staff are using their personal smartphones, tablets, or even computers to access your company networks and systems, then they could be inadvertently putting your organisation at risk of a breach. If your company has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy in place, issue clear guidelines to ensure that employees are following safe usage procedures, including having the right cybersecurity software installed.
Falling For Cyber Scams
Hackers and other cyber criminals are becoming worryingly adept at tricking their way into company systems, so make sure that all team members know the warning signs that they are being targeted. Emails are a common target for these criminals, with a view to getting the recipient to either divulge sensitive data (including log in credentials), or download malware that can then be used to hold your company to ransom. Using the latest defensive software can help to prevent such scams ever reaching the inbox.
Defending Your Organisation
Training your staff is the surest way to keep your company safe from the threat of cyber criminals. After all, it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect the data used and stored by your organisation. Opting for remote working IT support will provide excellent back up for your teams working at home or in the office, and partnering with an expert in IT security is a very smart move. At Reflective IT, we can help with every aspect of building robust cyber defences, from IT outsourcing to setting you up with the best security software solutions. Find out more today at www.reflectiveit.com.