Since the last decade, the number of professionals working remotely, increased by a fifth– that’s almost a quarter of a million additional individuals working at the comfort of their home. However, in 2020, the number has just grown abruptly as an increasing number of businesses are turning to remote working model or even adopting it as a compulsory preventive measure for their employees against the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
With advanced technology, employees are no more required to sit at an office desktop to work productively. Even, as per one of the research surveys, employees working from home were found to be less stressed and have higher morale than those working at an office. However, while working from home, the risk of cybercriminals accessing the company data doesn’t go away. The growing trend of remote working is also leading to growing cybersecurity risks as most of the employees work on unsecured or public Wifi remotely. This article highlights the top cybersecurity risks involved in working remotely and the best tips to keep things secure when working from home.
The Risks Involved in Remote Working
Generally, remote workers are faced with the following security challenges:
- Lack of physical security of a home office, cafe, or public work space.
- Lack of knowledge and control of the network being used
- Lack of technical understanding of industry best security practices for remote working
- Unclear role and responsibilities while working remotely
To ensure that remote workers are using the remote working model to its fullest potential and to minimize the risks involved at the same time, go through and follow the following tips.
Tips to Keep Things Secure When Working from Home
1. Make employees understand the company’s remote working policy
The remote working policy describes the SOPs, to be followed by remote workers, as well as their responsibilities. The SOPs usually include the process for approving employees’ names for remote work, the responsibilities of their job as well as remote workspace security, device or workstation troubleshooting steps, encryption policies for data storage and sharing, VPN policy, and procedure to report the suspicious incident, if any.
Having a clear and comprehensive remote working policy in place helps reduce the cyber security risks as employees can better understand how to keep their devices and data secure while working remotely.
2. Let employees use the only company’s provided devices and tools
Most company devices are integrated with advance security precautions needed in place, hence, employees should stick to those while working remotely. The employees should be provided with the company’s devices (desktop/laptop/smartphone etc.) and tools to minimize the risks. Some of the most important tools that must be provided by the company include VPN (Virtual Private Network) so that an employee can work securely even at a public place using public network, built-in encryption, built-in firewalls and password manager.
3. Lock the browser & devices
Communicate your employees the strict guideline to lock their browser & devices when not in use. Before they start working on critical work matters and confidential information, they should strip down their extensions to just the ones they need and are sure they can trust.
Providing employees training for security standards and practices helps a great deal to minimize cybersecurity risks while working remotely. Include frequent training sessions to keep the employees informed about the latest cybersecurity threats, the ways hackers might breach their data and access their systems and measures to avoid and report suspicious activities and incidents.
Considering a lot of benefits of remote working, if you decide to integrate it within your workplace, keeping security to the maximum level will help to keep cyber criminals out.