The business landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years. Once reserved for sales road warriors and cutting-edge companies, remote work has become the new normal. With this new normal, business owners are operating on a new frontier, and hackers are taking advantage. The threat of companywide cyberattacks has increased.
Here is an overview of the threats your business could be facing in the new normal remote work landscape. Also, cybersecurity measures you can implement to minimize the risk of an attack.
The Risks of Remote Work
More Devices, More Risk
For remote work teams, employees are using more than the office computer. They are most likely working on company AND non-company-issued devices. This means the number of devices used to communicate businesses’ sensitive information outside of an office’s physical and digital walls has increased, creating more entry points for cyber-attack.
Everyone is connected to the same secure network when a team works in an office. However, remote teams can connect to a multitude of networks. They could be working from their home network or a free public Wi-Fi connection.
Creating an “Evil Twin” Wi-Fi, a fake free Wi-Fi network, is a popular way for hackers to gain access by monitoring the information sent over the Evil Twin. Another popular method for hackers to gain entry is called packet sniffing. When a user is connected to an unsecured network, anyone can download free applications to sniff (open and read) a packet. A packet is any information (passwords, emails, credit card numbers) in transit over the unsecured network.
Attacks Are Hard to Spot
It is more difficult for business leaders to monitor and see an attack because employees aren’t working on the same secure network, and more devices are being used. Also, some of those devices are outside the company’s control, acting as blind spots.
Protecting Your Company’s Devices
Develop a Cybersecurity Policy
The best first line of defense to protect your company is to create a cybersecurity policy that outlines processes and puts measures into place to protect the business.
Elements of a cybersecurity policy should include the following:
Use Secure Connections to Access Servers
A business should use a secure connection like a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to access all companywide servers. This ensures that files on that server or drive are accessed securely from all devices. Alternatively, a business can consider moving to cloud-based services and hosting, which often come with security out of the box.
Implement Routine Updates and Virus Scans
A device with out-of-date software is 39% more likely to fall victim to a cyberattack than a regularly updated one. Implementing mandatory routine updates and virus scans for your remote work team can help defend against attacks and quickly catch infected devices.
Train Employees to Spot and Respond to Attacks
Once the policy is created, your entire team must understand the importance of adhering to it. The policy should educate employees about new procedures and what to do if they think they’ve been compromised.
For more detailed information about how to help your business’s employees identify a cyberattack and recover after one occurs, read our article.
Awareness and planning are the best defenses against a cyber-attack for your remote work team. Contact us to meet with one of our cybersecurity experts today.