Working Remotely? Your Business Data Could be at Risk

Remote work has many advantages, but presents more cybersecurity risks for your business. In this blog we've compiled

Following our numerous lockdowns during the pandemic, the way we work has completely transformed. More and more businesses are adopting a hybrid or fully remote working approach post-pandemic, and fewer people are returning to the office full time.

As we spend less time in the office, we spend more time working from home, using co-working spaces or working from establishments such as coffee shops. The new, flexible approach to working offers many advantages, such as improved flexibility and productivity, however, there are many security risks that result from remote working, which could compromise your personal and business data.

Unfortunately, some companies have overlooked their remote cybersecurity measures, resulting in an increase of cyberattacks. In this blog, we’re providing you with measures you can take to decrease the likelihood of your business becoming a victim to cyberattacks:

Avoid Insecure Wi-Fi Connections

Many people prefer working in public spaces compared to working solely at home, whether this be a café, airport, or friend’s house. Often, they will use public networks whilst doing so, which raises concerns as these are most likely open networks. Open networks are insecure networks, which automatically make you vulnerable to hackers and runs the risk of your personal and business information being stolen and misused without your consent.

To avoid these risks, use a VPN or your personal hotspot to connect to the internet, so that your online activity and personal information is encrypted and cannot be accessed by other people on the same network as you, who may have ulterior motives.

Don’t use Personal Devices

It’s advised to keep your work to your work devices, and not cross the two. As the lines between work and home are becoming blurred, many people are using their personal devices to make calls, write emails and access company information. Many companies take the appropriate measure to protect their cybersecurity by routinely installing updates, antivirus scans or blocking certain websites on work devices. 

However, it is likely that employees will not take these same measures on their personal devices.

In the event that you need to use your personal device for work, it’s strongly advised you contact your company’s cybersecurity team, so that you can set up as many safeguards as possible. It’s also best practice to install antivirus packages onto your personal devices regardless if you’re using them for work.

Stay Aware of Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a type of cyberattack where the perpetrator sends a fraudulent message which is designed to trick the victim into revealing sensitive information or adding malicious software onto the victim’s device. Cybercriminals are becoming a lot more sophisticated in recent times, posing as credible companies or websites to trick their victims.

The best practice for avoiding phishing attacks is to remain alert and vigilant to determine whether an incoming email is legitimate or not.

If there are any, even, subtle spelling or grammatical mistakes, links to provide personal information, or attachments you weren’t expecting, do not trust the email.

If an email looks suspicious, it is important to never click on any links within the email, and you must report this to your company’s cybersecurity team.

Create Strong Passwords and use A Password Manager

It may seem self-explanatory, but creating strong passwords are often overlooked. If you are working remotely, weak passwords create huge risks for a data breach, which is doubled if the individual is using their personal device.

Passwords are the first line of defence from hackers, so they need to be done correctly. Strong passwords should be at least seven characters, and should include both numbers and special characters.

If you struggle to remember your complex passwords, it’s suggested that you use a secure password manager to store them all, such as Keeper.

If you want to add an extra layer of protection, it is advised that you set up two factor authentication so that your information cannot be accessed with your password alone.

Cybersecurity Training & Policies

As hackers are getting more sophisticated and adopting new techniques regularly, it’s a good idea to provide routine cybersecurity training for employees so that they are aware of the latest advice and procedures. Human error is, unfortunately, a factor in many business data breaches, and proactive, effective training can reduce this risk.

If you have a number of employees working remotely or taking a hybrid approach, you could develop a remote working policy to help your team with risk management. This can include best practices for cybersecurity, data protection, remote access and data back-up. 

To conclude, cybersecurity for remote workers is something that shouldn’t be neglected, and should be consistently monitored to ensure your employees can work safely and productively.

Struggling with your remote cybersecurity procedures? Aspect IT can assess and implement the necessary precautions to help protect your business from a data breach or cyberattack.

Get in touch by calling 0161 241 9050 or emailing info@aspectit.co.uk today!

 

 

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