Remote working will be the norm in the future. This is supported by a recent study by management consulting firm McKinsey, in which 58% of the respondents said that they already get the chance to work remotely at least once a week. This percentage is also predicted to only increase in the coming years.
However, the growth of remote work setups comes with a set of cybersecurity challenges that calls for organizations to update their cybersecurity strategy at the soonest time possible. Here are four specific reasons why they should do so.
1. Insufficient network protection
A remote workforce is more vulnerable to cyberattacks than an on-site team. When employees work remotely, they typically use their own devices and networks that are often not as secure as office computers and infrastructure. For one, personal devices and home Wi-Fi networks may not have the same high level of protection that devices and networks in the office do.
It’s therefore critical for companies to provide their remote employees with the necessary tools to keep their devices and networks secure. Companies should also have a written cybersecurity policy that all employees should follow. This policy should outline the procedures for reporting a security breach while working remotely, as well as the consequences of not following the policy.
2. Less visibility into employee activity
It can be a challenge to monitor and manage the online activity of remote workers. This lack of visibility increases the possibility of remote employees unintentionally leaking information or visiting websites that pose security risks.
The lack of visibility increases the possibility of remote employees unintentionally leaking information or visiting websites that pose security risks.
Additionally, responding to security threats can be delayed when dealing with a distributed workforce. If an employee clicks on a phishing email and releases malware into the network, for instance, it could take longer to detect and contain the problem because teams are geographically dispersed.
To mitigate these risks, companies should consider implementing proactive monitoring solutions that can give visibility into employee activity both on and off the corporate network.
3. Absence of physical security measures
Physical offices usually have security measures such as guards, access control systems, and CCTV cameras to protect the premises and the data stored in the devices on site. These security measures are absent in most remote work locations, so businesses need to find other ways to protect their data and devices.
One way to do this is by encrypting data at rest and in transit to prevent cybercriminals from obtaining sensitive information even if they manage to steal a device or gain access to a company network. Another way to increase security is by using multifactor authentication, which requires users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to verify their identity before being granted access to a system or data.
4. Lack of employee cybersecurity training
Another challenge companies face in implementing remote work is that their remote workers are not properly trained on how to safeguard sensitive information. This is often the case in smaller companies that have limited resources to provide comprehensive employee cybersecurity training. As a result, employees might not be aware of the risks associated with working remotely, which could inadvertently put the company at risk.
Providing remote employees with regular cybersecurity awareness training that includes best practices when handling sensitive data can help businesses address this risk. Doing so will ensure that employees are up to date on the latest threats and that they know how to protect themselves and the company from online threats.
By updating your cybersecurity strategy, you can mitigate the risks associated with remote work and ensure that your data is protected against potential threats. For more information on how to secure your organization in the era of remote work, call XBASE Technologies to learn more about our Exponentially Better™ cybersecurity services.