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June 21, 2021 | By stephen
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Six Tips to Reduce Cyber Risks With a Remote Workforce

Even with the vaccine rollout, it’s unlikely that things will return to the way they were before the pandemic, especially in the business environment. At the onset of the pandemic, companies were forced to shut down physical operations and adopt a digital and remote workforce.

Many CEOs believe that this remote way of working will remain prevalent across multiple industries, even after the pandemic fades. According to a survey by PWC, 78% of CEOs believe that the remote workforce is an enduring one.

Your Remote Working Employees May Be a Top Cybersecurity Risk to Your Organization

The major shift from the traditional working environment to remote working found many companies unprepared and lacking the digital capacity to support their employees. As companies focus on adopting new tools and systems to connect their employees and facilitate seamless collaboration, cybersecurity is often overlooked. This unpreparedness and ignorance expose vulnerabilities and makes the organization highly susceptible to various cybersecurity risks.

What can you do to prevent cybercriminals from having access to private and sensitive organizational data? Here is a cybersecurity survival guide to help your businesses remain secure during this indefinite period of remote working.

Six Tips to Train Remote-Working Employees On Cybersecurity

The following are remote working cybersecurity controls you and your employees should employ for maximum cybersecurity as you work from home.

1. Educate Your Employees on Cyber Threats

If your employees don’t know how to identify a cybersecurity threat, how can they avoid it, remove it, or report it? They can’t. With the adoption of remote working, companies have been forced to bear a new responsibility of educating their employees when it comes to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity training is crucial so that employees can understand the cybersecurity risk landscape. The training should cover various aspects of cybersecurity including, the different forms of cyber threats, how they present themselves, how they can be identified and how they can be prevented. Training should also be continuous as cyber threats tend to evolve and new threats prove to be more sophisticated and cause more damage.

2. Adopt the Trust No One Approach

As an organization, you need to adopt the mindset that everyone is after your data, and your data is never safe enough. While you may trust yourself and other employees in the office to keep company data safe while online, it’s important to remember that while working from home, company computers are likely to be exposed to other members of the family who aren’t as safe online. It’s, therefore, crucial to remind your staff to keep company devices safe and restrict other members of their households from accessing their work mobiles, laptops, or any other form of company resource.

Physical security of company devices is just as vital as online security. You should, therefore, not leave your devices unattended.

3. Install Internet Security and Antivirus Software

One of the most effective cybersecurity tips while working from home is investing in comprehensive, effective, and reliable internet security software for you and your staff. Antivirus software is designed to protect against threats such as ransomware, spyware, trojans, worms, viruses, and phishing scams sent via email. Internet software also takes all the work off your hands by providing automatic remote work security against these threats.

The effectiveness of any antivirus software is dependent on how frequently it is updated. Most antivirus programs are designed to offer protection against known threats as they rely on a database of known viruses that they use to compare to programs on a user’s device.  It’s, therefore, not enough to have an antivirus program. You should get one that offers universal protection against all types of malware and emerging threats, and it should be updated regularly.

4. Adopt Cloud Computing Services

If your employees are still storing company files locally, it’s time to switch to the cloud. The cloud not only offers a centralized storage system where your employees can share and get access to company data, but it also offers an additional layer of security for your data. Various technologies and tools in cloud-based solutions allow you to insert restrictions between access and your company data.

The cloud also provides a backup solution for your data. This means that when your company gets compromised, and locally stored files are destroyed or lost, you can still access the data you stored on the cloud.

5. Implement a Strong User Authentication Processes

Poor user authentication processes are a source of various cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Ensure both you and your employees use complex passwords for all your devices, including your Wi-Fi routers. All passwords should include letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters.

You can also implement multi-factor authentication to add a security layer to the login process and lock out external parties from accessing your data and networks.

6. Keep Your Operating System and All Your Software Updated

Malware attacks often penetrate software loopholes in browsers and operating systems. It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure that your operating system and all your software are up to date. Updates often include critical patches to security loopholes that were present in previous versions of the application.

The Need To Train Your Remote Workforce on Cybersecurity

One year later, the situation seems to be the same. Cybercrime still ranks top among challenges businesses face, and many companies are still struggling to adapt reliable and enduring cybersecurity strategies to accommodate the new way of working. Both businesses and individual employees are continually being exposed to a range of cybersecurity risks, with remote workers increasingly becoming targets of social engineering schemes like phishing. Unfortunately, unlike in the office, there may be no IT support team to take care of your cybersecurity at home. This leaves all the security vigilance to your employees, increasing your cybersecurity risks.

Your remote employees are the biggest threat when it comes to your cybersecurity. By following cybersecurity worst practices, they can easily give hackers access to your sensitive company data and network.

Do You Need Assistance with Your Cybersecurity?

Leading IT  offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.

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