With the rise of digital cloud environments and the recent pandemic, many organizations have turned to remote workers. However, because of the lack of effective cybersecurity policies for remote workers, remote and mobile employees might pose an information security threat.
The Evolution of Remote Work
Companies are increasingly moving their activities to the internet. Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have aided businesses in providing their consumers with uninterrupted service around the clock.
However, while offering remote working perks to its employees, this exposes enterprises and organizations to another possible threat source.
Because of the advent of remote and mobile working, the traditional boundaries of the office environment have expanded from a single, or a few, locations to hundreds.
Even companies that have defined strategies and processes to enable remote working may find it difficult to accommodate mobile and remote workers on such a large scale. Cybercriminals will have plenty of opportunities to flourish in this situation.
As a result, with the majority of employees working remotely, organizations must be concerned about one thing: cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Employees
According to several recent reports, organizations will increasingly gain from remote working or work from home benefits. Not only as part of a pandemic business continuity strategy but also in the future.
Cyber risks, on the other hand, are not limited to malicious outsiders. Simple errors made by employees who aren’t used to working from home or haven’t received the proper training can jeopardize their own and the organization’s security.
The top cybersecurity best practices for remote employees are listed below, according to experts:
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is an additional layer of security that can be added to your accounts. This type of authentication requires you to enter a code that is either texted to you or generated by an app on your phone before you are allowed to log in to your account using a new device. Currently, the majority of the major platforms, including Google and Facebook, offer choices for two-factor authentication (2FA). If these options are available for your accounts, you should be sure to activate them; this is especially important if you work remotely – Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert at VPNOverview
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is my preferred cybersecurity measure since it provides an additional layer of safety for your accounts and more rapidly verifies the employee’s identity. When feasible, employees should minimize the use of their personal devices for work; they may download important information on their computer, which could be compromised by a malicious file that has been roaming on their computer without their knowledge – Ellie B. Shippey, Outreach Specialist at Willis Lawn Care
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Network
As an employer, I highly advise my remote workers to stay away from public Wi-Fi networks. Malware attacks, session hijacking, personal information theft, and other threats are all possible on public Wi-Fi networks. Hackers are increasingly setting up fake Wi-Fi networks, particularly in airports, shopping malls, hotels, and saloons, to infect unsuspecting devices and steal personal information such as login passwords, confidential documents, and financial data – Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor of ReviewGrower
Staying away from public networks is the most important practice for improving cybersecurity while working remotely. When accessing work materials and portals, remote workers should always use private and trusted networks. When using public networks, there is an increased possibility that cybercriminals or other online attackers will obtain access to your computer. This makes the digital assets of your company available for everyone to use in whichever way they see fit. It is best to avoid working in public places like cafes and libraries – Finn Cardiff, Founder of BeachFix
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is important for internet privacy, but it can also prevent hackers from intercepting your communications. This virtual internet tunnel encrypts all of your internet traffic to protect any data exchanged with your organization’s network and technology from potential attackers. It is encouraged to use a premium VPN since a large number of people will be using free VPNs for business, which will significantly slow down internet connections and reduce the productivity of your remote employees – Nick Jordan, Founder & CEO of Workello
When connecting to the company network from outside the office, such as while employees are traveling or working remotely from home, encourage them to use Virtual Private Networks. It is far more difficult for cybercriminals to access information about you from your computer while using a virtual private network (VPN) since all of the traffic between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted – Joel Friedman, Owner of EZContacts
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) needs to be every organization’s number one priority in the current era. A virtual private network (VPN) would prevent the traffic to the organization’s website from being hacked while simultaneously guaranteeing the online privacy of each individual member of the organization. The virtual private network (VPN) generates a virtual internet tunnel, which encrypts all of the data that is shared within your company’s network to protect it from being accessed by cybercriminals – Kenny Kline, President & Financial Lead at BarBend
Use Encryption and Firewalls
When hackers intercept your email, encrypted email protects them from accessing your information. SSL and PGP are two popular email encryption methods. Firewalls are the most effective defense against cyber threats. It protects your devices with passwords and keeps them with you at all times. If you keep your passwords on a device, make sure you have that device with you at all times. When you leave your device unattended, be careful to activate the screen lock so that anyone attempting to snoop cannot get your password – Tanner Arnold, President & CEO at Revelation Machinery
A firewall, in my opinion, prevents harmful programs from accessing your system at the point of entry. It effectively serves as the initial line of defense against any malware attack. It helps prevent any data breach or vital organization information from leaking from the device of a remote worker. Ensure that the operating system’s and router’s built-in firewalls are enabled to protect your device. Using a web application firewall (WAF), which is a software application that monitors network traffic on an organization’s internal or external networks, will safeguard the organization’s apps from unauthorized users accessing or modifying data – Dan Scalco, Owner of Food Box HQ
Utilize Password Managers
The best cybersecurity practice is good password management, as it’s often neglected when it comes to security risks for a company. It does not take much for a hacker to take over the account and gain access to critical systems. When databases are breached, the attacker will be able to manipulate passwords and usernames in their tools for advanced attacks. A damning survey revealed that a large percentage of adults re-use their passwords; this is the most targeted concept by hackers. A leaked password would cause immense damage to both the company and the data. This is why strong password management is advised, as it can leave important information vulnerable to use and manipulation – Nick Rubright, Digital Marketing Specialist at SuperCan Bully Sticks
One of the best cybersecurity practices for remote workers is maintaining good password management. Most adults reuse old passwords for both personal and work accounts. This is bad password management and poses a significant risk for security breaches. Remote workers should not leave their passwords written on post-it notes around the house lest they lose them. Using a password manager tool is a much better option to keep your passwords safe – Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager at Buyer’s Guide
Keep Your System, Software, and Devices Updated
This is a pretty common mistake that every employee who works remotely does. It’s possible that you’ve updated your primary operating system, but the vast majority of the time, people neglect to update supporting devices such as routers, smartphones, tools, software, and other devices. Therefore, ensure that all of your accessories and devices have the most updated software – Jamie Robinson, SEO Expert at New Boiler Cost