As more of the workforce shifts to fully remote work or a hybrid of in-office and work from home, employers must pay even greater attention to the safety and security of their remote access technologies. Increased working from home provides an array of new ways for cybercriminals to access and exploit business technology systems. In addition, IT systems that are under stress and employees who are new to remote technology are more fragile to potential cyber threats like malware, phishing, and other cybersecurity attacks.
In order to better protect your business, let’s discuss why cybersecurity attacks are on the rise for remote working solutions and steps you can take to minimize threats.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology states that all businesses and organizations with teleworking and remote access solutions should consider “additional protection, because their nature generally places them at higher exposure to external threats compared to technologies that are only accessed from inside the organization.” As businesses shift to employees working from home, an increased number of endpoints open through which cybercriminals can enter and wreak havoc on systems. Once your data, access, and systems move outside the secured network and direct control of your business, threat concerns for cybersecurity increase.
According to Security Magazine, malware activity in Q3 of 2020 increased by a startling 128%. As more businesses continue to shift their infrastructure to the cloud, it is projected that cloud breaches will be on the rise throughout 2021, making it essential for businesses to secure their cloud infrastructure in addition to other remote access solutions.
To minimize these kind of cybersecurity attacks, businesses should prioritize beefing up their remote access cybersecurity. Below are some of the top ways your business can help prevent cybercrime before it starts.
Remote Work Security Guidelines
All businesses engaging in remote work should assess their current security police and determine whether or not they meet the industry standards for remote work cybersecurity. If there are missing or substandard policies, now is the time to refresh or establish heightened cybersecurity measures, procedures, and protocols.
Regardless of where the work is taking place, network security should be of the utmost importance. This means users should never access work systems, files, or apps through unsecured public Wi-Fi. In addition, Wi-Fi networks at home should be secured. It’s often advised for employees to access their organizations internal network using a VPN to maintain end-to-end data encryption.
Personal Device Usage & Security
Ideally, businesses should discourage the use of personal devices when remote working. This is because employer-approved devices can be properly set up, vetted, and routinely monitored for cybersecurity best practices. Although its best to avoid the usage of personal devices while working from home, many businesses cannot avoid it. For those, it’s best to ensure that all personal devices are up to date on antivirus software, have strong passwords, use firewalls, and utilize multi-step authentication.
Multi-Authentication and Authorization
Multifactor authentication is a form of security that monitors the access of users to certain systems using multiple steps to authenticate the user is who they say they are. By using multifactor authentication, regularly monitoring who is accessing the system, and requiring regular password strength updates businesses can help protect their systems.
Securing Cloud & Collaboration Apps
Cloud and collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Drive have been essential parts of allowing communication and real-time collaboration for the remote workforce. However, these applications can pose a risk to networks and sensitive data. To ensure the best possible security, IT experts should assess the apps your business uses, optimize their settings for the best performance and security, and ensure encryption wherever possible. In addition, team members should be trained on how to minimize or eliminate sensitive data shared via these applications.
IS&T – Cybersecurity Experts
For over 20 years, IS&T has been helping businesses large and small optimize their cybersecurity measures. Throughout the recent shift to remote work, we’ve assisted many of our clients set up secure, effective, and protected remote access solutions. With the guidance of our expert IT staff and the customized approach we bring to every project, our clients have been able to create a flexible and secure online working environment for their remote team.
If you’re looking to switch to a remote working solution or are interested in better securing your systems, contact us today to see how easy IS&T can make securing your organization.