remote workers

The top security concerns of remote working

More of us worked from home in the last few years than ever before. According to Sky News, “The data, compiled from a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed 25.9% – or 8.4 million people – were completing duties from their place of residence at some point in the week they were spoken to. The figure compares with 12.4% in 2019.” And that continues to raise issues for IT professionals and organisations. We’ll share some of the top security concerns of remote working and what you can do to combat them in this 2-minute read.

Remote working

Poor password selection

People are creatures of habit. And while IT teams might put in place regular and frequent password updates, it’s likely that your team members will simply add a “!” or a “1” to the password they are currently using and continue about their day. It’s important to teach your team members to use unique and different passwords for every single piece of software that they access during their workday. And then you must enforce it with robust password creation rules.

GDPR & compliance

Governmental regulations outline how employees can access and process data on customers and clients. But managing that becomes a challenge for remote teams. A strong remote work policy that outlines the corporate access control policy ensures compliance with GDPR, reduces risk, and keeps data safe is needed. It should outline which employees have access to corporate servers, what data they can use, and how they can use it as part of their daily tasks.

Phishing

According to IT Governance, “A recent report found that there has been a 600% increase in reported phishing emails since the end of February, with many of them cashing in on the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.” It makes sense that emails around the health crisis would gain more clicks, even if they’re fraudulent. So, IT teams need to increase their monitoring and put in place basic measures like two-factor authentication to reduce this threat.

Unsecure networks

When employees access the company infrastructure via their home network it creates a potential vulnerability. That’s because home devices like routers are not updated regularly. Additionally, while companies typically have firewalls in their office to monitor network traffic and block malicious activity, many people do not have a firewall to guard their home’s network. While some routers are hybrid router-firewalls, these firewalls are not that secure, which can lead to potential network security gaps for remote employees. These gaps can allow hackers and thieves into your corporate network.

Personal device use

According to Heimdal 46% of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home, which is a worrying practice. That’s because you have no control over who has access to this device besides the employee or what security measures are in place. When the employee changes jobs, there’s no guarantee that your data will be erased. Strict BYOD policies and password protected files help with this, but it’s the best policy to try and prevent personal device use wherever possible.

Want expert help preventing the top security concerns of remote working in your organisation? Our team can support your infrastructure with the latest monitoring and security tools available. Reach out for a confidential chat today.