Today, working from home has become a normal part of the working routine of many American employees. The wide adoption of remote working has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made it challenging for many people to work in confined spaces. Thus, companies have resorted to holding meetings via video conferencing, sharing documents online, and collaborating on projects virtually.
The shift to remote working has also brought along some major cybersecurity concerns. This is because, unlike previously, where employees conducted sensitive company operations on secured IT support services, cybersecurity becomes a mixed bag of expectations when each employee is using their own home network.
The unfortunate reality
As an enterprise, you are aware that cyberattacks directed towards businesses have been skyrocketing over the last couple of years. This is likely why you invested in a secure IT network for your business operations. When your staff is working from home, it means that you can benefit partially from this secure network.
This is because not every employee understands the extensive dynamics of cybersecurity. Therefore, while some employees would use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Secure Wi-Fi standards, some will not. This increases the potential for cybersecurity weaknesses across your remote working operations.
Improving your cybersecurity for remote working
Here are some tips that will help you as an organization to improve your cybersecurity for remote working.
Revamp your network security
You should know that cybersecurity threats are ever-evolving, and so does cybersecurity protocols. Today, there are numerous cyber threats to companies that are working remotely that weren't there before. This is why you must revamp your network's security to be up to date with the latest cybersecurity protocols. Updating your network's security involves updating your antivirus and antimalware software and the OS to benefit from the latest security patches.
Maybe previously, you had unchecked some of the protection options from your antivirus and antimalware software due to budgetary constraints. Now would be a wonderful moment to check all the boxes. This means that you will be having total protection from cyberattacks, and your data and business operations will be safe from attacks.
Strengthen your IT department
Your IT department is the umbrella that offers your organization the cybersecurity protection that it needs besides ensuring the smooth running of the company's network. Now that your enterprise is working remotely, you need a more robust IT department than ever before. You need to strengthen your IT department to offer protection to your employees for the company's safety.
Firstly, you have to provide your IT team with resources and make it easy for them to get in touch with your employees to help them set up a secure network at home. This involves assisting the employees in activating a more secure Wi-Fi standard for remote working. They should also guide your employees on how to use VPN to encrypt their sensitive data traffic.
Additionally, your IT team should have the ability to address any problems that the employees working remotely may be facing. This means that it can be quickly contained in the event of a cyberattack, thus causing minimal disruptions to your operations.
Enable multi-factor authentication
As a company with solid cybersecurity protocols, you undoubtedly encourage your employees to use strong passwords. But since each employee is working remotely, it might be challenging for you to verify that they adhere to this.
This is why you should take the initiative to activate multi-factor authentication for employees to access your business platform. This is because passwords might be broken, and without multi-factor authentication, the cybercriminal will gain access to your business network with ease.
Multi-factor authentication relies on several keys to grant access to an account or business network. Thus, besides the password, the employee will need a One-Time-Password (OTP) or physical key to your business network. The OTP is usually relayed to a different device, like the employee's smartphone, and they have to enter it after inputting the password to access the account.
A physical key can be a USB thumb drive that an employee has to stick into their computer as they log into the business network. Multi-factor authentication offers next-level security as it puts a physical barrier between having a password and accessing the business's network.
Train your employees to avoid phishing emails
Phishing emails pose a massive threat to the security of your enterprise as your employees work from home. During the pandemic, the rise in the number of phishing emails that employees working from home have received has been alarming. Phishing emails are emails that mimic those sent by legitimate organizations, and they usually contain exciting information.
They are meant to lure an employee into downloading a file or clicking on a link that contains malicious code. Once they click on the link, a file automatically downloads on their computer.
These files with malicious code usually act as a gateway for cybercriminals to access your business network and launch more crippling attacks. The file's malicious codes can allow a cybercriminal to install spyware into your business network and collect all the log-in credentials, customer information, and proprietary data. They can also launch a ransomware attack and squeeze you into paying them to regain access to your business network.
This is why you should train your employees to avoid phishing emails. They should not just be careful on their business emails but also their personal accounts. Today, many people use the same devices for their personal and business activities. Thus, if an attack is launched on the employee's personal account, it will likely also affect your business account.
Reinforce professional ethics
Working from home is a new undertaking for many employees. This is because, for most of them, home is where they relax and think and engage in everything else apart from work. This means that many employees are having a hard time adjusting to remote working. Additionally, the staff may have a family at home who might be a distraction.
These factors combine to make it difficult for employees to stick to the same professional ethics they did while working at the office. This would likely compromise your cybersecurity, making you more vulnerable to attacks. You should take time to reinforce professional ethics in your employees as they work from home. This will ensure that they are always at their best and all will go well for the organization's cyber security cloud.