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Cybersecurity Challenges of Remote Working & Best Practices

Ever since the start of 2020, businesses have been pushed to go digital and migrate to working from home. This presented many challenges with cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in uncontrolled, personal, and public environments. Especially now that people are adopting a “work from anywhere” style, it makes it increasingly hard to protect digital footprints.  

The best way to be proactive and combat cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities is to hire an experienced team. Advantis Global helps fortune 500 companies and federal departments find specialized talent to hire and assist in creating a secure work environment.  

However, prior to hiring a team, it’s important to know what cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities your business may have to properly create a team and start being proactive. Here are some cybersecurity risks and tips from Aalap Parekh, IT Specialist at Advantis Global.

Table of Contents
Remote Working Cybersecurity Risks
Cybersecurity Checklist for Small Businesses
How to Find Work in Cybersecurity and IT

Remote Working Cybersecurity Risks

Graphic of cybersecurity risks while remote working listed.

More Damage to Company Equipment

Company provided equipment is prone to damage if an employee is home. The equipment can be tampered with by another person or get damaged during transport. Any source of carelessness can result in losing or breaking laptops, monitors, etc.  

Information Leaks

Remote employees will be doing their work not just from their houses, but also from public places such as a library or a café. When doing so, any information they access is out in the open. All phone conversations can be heard as well. In-person businesses do not have to worry about that as their office will be secure and only employees will be present. Be sure to practice remote work cybersecurity best practices like the use of VPNs when employees are remote working.

Data Leaving Company Equipment

Employees will attempt to use their personal devices for work and access company data. If any time the personal device is at risk, company data is as well.

Network Threats

If there is no VPN present, an employee can be on a network that is not protected by a password or a firewall. Any unprotected network can be accessed by an attacker, thus getting access to any company data and information.

Cybersecurity Checklist for Small Businesses

Oftentimes, small businesses don’t have the budget to hire a full cybersecurity team to manage their IT, equipment, and digital footprint. But there are many ways a small business can take precautions without a large budget.

Cybersecurity checklist for remote work.

  1. Implementing a VPN- A company VPN is essential for improving work from home cybersecurity. A VPN will help a worker connect to a secure network when they are connecting to a public, unsecured network. It’s recommended to use a VPN when handling sensitive information like client data, financials, and internal webs.
  1. Setting up multi-factor authentication- Most software offer this option for free. Set it up for company applications, websites, and portals. Having multi-factor authentication helps add an extra layer of security to make sure that it is in fact the user trying to use the account and not a hacker.
  1. Installing firewalls and antivirus software- Ensure it is installed on ALL devices. Make sure the antivirus software is made and sold by a credible company with a good track record and standing within the cybersecurity and IT community.
  1. Prohibiting employees from downloading company data on a personal device- If there is budget, a safe way to protect your business from cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities is to provide employees with devices and equipment that is already set up with firewalls, a VPN, and an antivirus software. Stress the importance of not downloading digital company assets on devices such as a personal flash drive or personal cloud software because the security isn’t regulated or monitored by the small business.
  1. Providing employees with licensed software- Many small businesses often work with freelancers. Make sure their software is licensed or provide the necessary programs to them, so they are not forced to get a trial or use strange sites to complete necessary work. This also helps streamline workflows for the entire team.
  1. Using secure collaboration apps- Using communication programs like Teams and Slack can help keep all data and important deliberations in one place. It is easier to secure one location rather than multiple that are un-trackable due to disorganization.
  1. Providing training to employees about attackers’ phishing tactics- Although a simple tip, it’s important to remind employees about remote work cybersecurity best practices like avoiding clicking on suspicious links or to always double check the sender address to avoid being maliciously compromised.
  1. Having encryption for any sensitive company data- Encrypting data adds an extra layer of protection against information. For those unfamiliar with cybersecurity, it turns data into a puzzle, making hackers take extra steps to decipher the information or messages.
  1. Implementing a strong password policy- It may be tempting to give everything a simple, easy to remember password that is the same across all accounts, but it isn’t advised. Doing so makes businesses vulnerable to cybersecurity threats like hackers guessing passwords and compromising ALL accounts at once. Make passwords random with many different types of characters (uppercase, lowercase, special characters, etc).  

How to Find Work in Cybersecurity and IT

If you’re working in cybersecurity or IT, Advantis Global would love to get you connected to industry leading companies in need of skilled talent. Tech skills are in great demand with businesses becoming more prominent online. Level up your career with the help of our Recruiter and get the promotion or raise you’ve always wanted.

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