How to overcome cybersecurity vulnerabilities when working remotely
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory requirements of different health measures such as social distancing to avoid and control the spread of the virus, many employees are forced to work remotely. While the remote workforce has brought many benefits like lower business expenses, flexible working hours, and many others, it has some risks.
The most common risk faced when working remotely is cybersecurity threats. If you lack the proper tools to mitigate them, the employer and employees can face quite challenging cybersecurity threats.
So today, we will tell you about how to overcome cybersecurity vulnerabilities when working remotely. Trust us, we won’t be only focusing on Virtual Private Networks. However, they are the most effective and common solution to overcome any type of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
You can use leading VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN to promptly secure your remote workforce from any cybersecurity threat. Apart from securing your remote workforce’s network and data, there are plenty of other advantages of using a VPN during work from home that you don’t want to miss out on.
Let’s dive into a few tips that can help you overcome cybersecurity vulnerabilities when working remotely.
Endpoint Security Solution
Protecting remote employees from any cybersecurity threat is harder than onsite employees. While the employee is working remotely, that doesn’t mean he is safe from any malicious actor trying to enter the device after the employee has logged in.
By implementing policies that assure that remote employees install a reliable security solution, such as an advanced endpoint security tool, you can help them prevent cyber incidents from occurring.
If the company itself deploys the endpoint solution, then it would be much better. It is also necessary that the security tool produces a complete endpoint detection and response (EDR) module to communicate with remote endpoints.
Here are some crucial features of an endpoint security tool:
- Antivirus – The most familiar and trusted software used to detect malware presence on your computer. It offers a scanning feature that can be useful for checking the computer for infiltration by a malicious threat.
- Behavioral Analysis – The security tool should have a solid behavioral analysis ability. It should conduct accurate behavioral analysis on new malicious executables securely.
- Exploit Detection – A necessary detection module for the security tool as threats exist across multiple platforms and applications.
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) – The security tool should have a complete EDR module that allows the administrator to isolate the affected endpoints, decrease infection, and handle forensics – remotely.
Vulnerabilities in applications and operating systems are constantly being discovered and exploited. Cybercriminals use these vulnerabilities to control data and infiltrate networks and devices.
Remote workers must regularly install the system or application updates. These updates hold the protection to the latest vulnerabilities found against the applications. These updates ensure that required security patches are installed in the devices, applications, and on the network itself.
While keeping your device and programs updated is a small task, it goes a long way in reducing the risk posed by cybercriminals looking to access your private work-related data.
According to Statista, in 2018, monetary damage caused by cybercrime was more than $2.7 million. This number is way higher today and by 2025, according to Forbes, cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion dollars annually.
Employers must remind their remote employees to configure their Wi-Fi with encryption as employers have no access or control over their network. Connection to a properly configured Wi-Fi point is essential to avoid any data interception.
Something as simple as a router’s password can also be responsible for a data breach caused by a cybercriminal. Usually, routers use the manufacturer’s default password, and attackers can use this weak password to intercept traffic going through the router. Therefore, employees should be reminded to set a strong password on their devices, including routers.
Email and Messaging services
Employers should ensure that remote employees have full access to company IT services and tools to maintain network security. It will help to provide a more uniform security standing.
By using these tools, employees can ensure data security while sharing work-related information. The company’s email services provide that email security is not lacking and decrease the risk of email compromisation.
Despite all the efforts to protect companies from any form of cyber attacks, they remain inevitable. These threats are constantly evolving and overcoming every bit of security measures placed from them. Since remote workings are highly vulnerable to different types of cyberattacks, keep reminding them to take all the necessary precautions that they can. They need to educate themselves about the cyber environment.
That remote employees must enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. Think of it as an additional layer of security.
Once set up, this process will send a confirmation message on the account owner device when anyone attempts to log in to the account. Only when the confirmation is granted, the account will successfully log in. This feature is quite helpful in protecting the integrity of your online accounts. As passwords can be easily guessed and broken, this authentication method will not only inform you about any unauthorized log-in attempt but also prevent it.
In the case of a power outage or cyberattack, having a different way to contact your employees is imminent. This can be as easy as arranging a phone number list or setting up a protected way to message top personnel that avoids any digital intrusion.
Additional cybersecurity tips for employees working from home:
- Try to monitor employee’s work for home practices. Most of the data breaches are caused by insiders and not outside hackers.
- Remind employees to avoid opening emails from suspicious or unknown sources and not to open any attachments. Ask them to stay alert against phishing tactics in phony emails.
While working remotely benefits the employees, it poses very high cybersecurity risks to the company. It is the responsibility of every employee to practice the basic security measures against cyber threats. As these threats evolve continuously, alerting the employees about these threats and vulnerabilities and implementing security measures can help make things easier.
Companies can also try to build up a culture of cybersecurity so that every employee is on the same page concerning the cyber threats and the measures they need to adopt for protection against them.