4 Security Risks of Remote Working

As technology has advanced over the last few years, the number of people working remotely or working from home has steadily increased. In 2020, the number of remote workers has skyrocketed. The advances in technology have made this possible for many businesses, with cloud applications and VoIP phone systems letting staff work from anywhere.

But remote work offers security challenges you may not necessarily get from working in the office. It is important that your staff are aware of the different security risks of remote working.

Security Risks of Remote Work

Unsecured Networks

Businesses will go to great lengths to make sure their IT infrastructure is secure. This includes networking monitoring tools designed to prevent threats from reaching networks and other solutions designed to limit approach vectors. While most remote workers are spending most of their time on their home network, there may be instances where they take their work to public workspaces, for a change of scenery.

Security tip #1: To keep devices, and the data that can be accessed from them, safe – we’d recommend that remote workers connect to a VPN. The VPN will create a virtual tunnel between employee devices and the company’s network, and any data sent back and forth through it is protected by encryption and security protocols.

Phishing Attacks

One of the biggest security risks of remote work. The majority of successful cyber attacks are done by phishing. These could be from somebody pretending to be an organisation many people have an account with, such as Amazon, asking for personal information. You may also be sent more personal, targeted emails. In a business setting, you might get an email seemingly from your Managing Director asking you to pay a bill, or with a malicious attachment. With this example, if you work in finance, you may receive legitimate emails like this all the time.

Security tip #2: Learning to spot the signs of a phishing email is vital. If you’d like to know how your staff would deal with a phishing email, talk to us about a phishing simulation. It will test their skills in a safe environment against different types of spoof emails.

Shared Devices

It can be difficult to avoid sometimes, but sharing a work device with family members can be a high security risk. Children may need access to online resources for school, or another family members might need to quickly print something from a work laptop. This should be avoided if possible. Your staff might be cyber aware, but their family might not be. Encourage staff to keep work devices strictly for work.

Security tip #3: You should also avoid accessing personal files and documents on a work device. It can be confusing if you’re logged into multiple Microsoft 365 accounts, and form auto-fills might pick up on your personal accounts instead of work ones.

Out of Date Software

We’ve spoken before about how important it is to keep software up to date. If developers discover bugs in their software, they will release updates that should fix them. Generally, if you don’t update the software, you will encounter performance issues. Occasionally, developers will need to patch vulnerabilities in their software that have security risks. If you’re not keeping the software updated, you could be at a greater risk of cyber threats.

Security tip #4: In many cases, you might find that cloud solutions are your best bet. With Microsoft 365, applications are automatically updated with the latest features.

Reduce Remote Risks

Remote working has taken a lot of getting used to for a lot of businesses. If your business is planning to continue working from home for the foreseeable, it’s vital your staff have all the tools they need in their office away from the office.

If you’d like to discuss the right remote work equipment, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

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