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The recent advancements in technology have allowed many employees across the world the flexibility of working while on the move for at least two days a week. Many online platforms enable you to deliver as expected. You can share files, attend meetings through video conferencing; make email correspondences among other means of getting the job done.
However, the flexibility of being to deliver your work tasks outside the office perimeters does not come without its challenges. It renders your data exchanges plus the devices used vulnerable to attacks.
This article discusses some of the potential threats of working remotely; I will also give you tips on some of the actionable plans that will help you take care of the situations.
Cybersecurity challenges of working remotely and how to stay safe
Connecting to unsecured networks
Working remotely requires internet access to be able to send and receive correspondences and to access work accounts. Your company does not have direct control over the networks that you are using to access the internet.
While working away from the office, the risk of having employees’ access work platforms through unsecured public or home networks is always possible. Hackers and cybercriminals are always preying on unsecured networks with an aim to steal sensitive data.
Solution: Use a VPN
VPNs are ideal solutions for remote workers who are uncertain about the security of their networks. Downloading a VPN enables you to create private connections over any network be it secured or not. Through a data encryption technology, VPNs mask your real identity and location. This way, a hacker cannot tell where you are or what you are doing online.
When looking at security, many people only look at data theft from an online perspective. The truth is that remote workers can also be physically targeted by malicious people in search of information.
The work devices can be stolen to access data. Malicious people may also access your work profiles should you happen to unintentionally forget the device in a public place.
Solution: Mark the device’s security as a priority
Always have your work devices where you can keep an eye on them. Never leave screens unlocked even when on a short break. You should also secure the devices with unique passwords. If they are not able to unlock stolen gadgets, thieves are likely to factory reset the device; and will therefore not mess up with your important information.
Cybercriminals may target you by spamming your mailboxes with luring messages. The emails contain malicious links and one click on the link may expose the whole work network.
Solution: Create an awareness program
The employees should be taken through essential security training to help them identify and report malicious emails to the company’s IT team. Every member should understand that their input is necessary for keeping the attackers at bay.
Bring your own device (BYOD)
Failing to keep a boundary between your own devices and the work data also puts the company’s information at risk. There is no way to limit the number of users that gain access to an employee’s gadget. Many users may compromise the device by exposing it to malware which may gather confidential information from it.
Solution: Issue company-owned devices and policies
Employees working away from the office should be issued with company-owned work access devices like laptops. The organization should also implement policies governing their use. For instance, work accounts access should only be done via company machines and the machines should not be used to accomplish personal tasks.
The set rules should be adhered to by all employees.
Using outdated programs
Failing to update your device’s software also puts the device and the information therein at risk. Hackers maximize on the vulnerabilities existing in outdated software programs to launch attacks to unsuspecting users.
Solution: Install regular updates
To avoid falling prey, install program updates whenever they are available. Many times, the updates contain patches that are meant to keep you safe. Software updates are also released to quash software bugs which in many cases are responsible for constant crashes.
Data loss can have devastating consequences for a company. The cooperation of all employees working from the office or at home is pivotal in keeping sensitive information safe. If put into action; the above tips will help keep cyber attackers at bay.
About the author:
Jack is an accomplished cyber security expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cyber security companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cyber security and privacy tools.