13 Jul 2022

Cyber Security When Remote Working

Cyber Security When Remote Working

With many companies now offering flexible working arrangements from remote to hybrid work, cyber security is more important than ever before. It is imperative that businesses have systems, software, and plans in place to protect their company and employees from security threats. When some of your workers are not using the same devices, internet, or programmes while at home, you need to ensure that you are considering security measures. Especially as security breaches can be incredibly damaging to your business. It can jeopardise your credibility and reputation, or affect the customer’s trust in you. Furthermore, SMEs or startups may not be able to financially handle cyber security attacks. These are all reasons why cyber security is so essential to your business and your remote workers.

 

Below are examples of such measures that can protect your remote working employees and a brief description of what they can do:

 

  • Having Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Employees will have to connect to the company's virtual private network, however, this can leave you vulnerable to hackers if you don’t have the necessary protection. It’s vital to have strong authentication methods, most places just use a username and password, but for extra protection, companies are now upgrading to smart cards. This contains a digital certificate that authenticates the user without them having to enter their username and password.

 

  • Weak Passwords

Weak passwords leave internet users vulnerable. Businesses should encourage employees to have a different password for each account they use, with a range of upper and lower case letters and special characters. This should also be updated regularly.

 
  • MFA or 2FA (Multi/ two-factor authentication)

This is a very helpful and necessary security measure to further protect yourself when signing into accounts. You should have a strong password in addition to the multi-factor authentication which can send a security code to an alternative email or telephone number.

 
  • Anti-Malware software

It’s very important to ensure that you have anti-malware software downloaded both on company devices and also on devices that your home-working employees are using. This is one of the more obvious forms of cyber security as it can protect from attacks and preempt and warn you of future or possible breaches. 

 
  • Firewall

While anti-malware software removes corrupt files from your hardware, a firewall intercepts breaches to both the computer system and the internet network.

 
  • Secure home wifi

When using wifi it’s important to be aware of security risks. It is advised that you change your router’s default password to something new. It’s relatively easy for hackers to use your wifi vulnerability to hack into your devices or web traffic.

 
  • Data protection

Keeping data safe can involve taking such precautions as limiting which employees have access to information. Make sure that the only people with access are those that the data is particularly relevant to. Old data should be archived or deleted also, and all data should be properly encrypted. Encryption quite simply means data that is converted into a different code or form so that the only people who have access to it are those with a key.

 
  • Email scams and email security

Emails are notorious for being the easiest way to compromise software, devices, or security. This is because it's used so commonly as an essential means of communication between employees in a business. Emails should only be accessed securely through a company VPN with an encrypted network connection. You should also be careful to avoid email/ phishing scams. Always validate the email sender before pressing links or attachments.

 
  • Online banking protection/ security

When using online banking accounts for business, protecting your pins and passcodes is of utmost importance. Use only legitimate services and software when dealing with money, and ensure that maximum security measures are in place. This includes such things as PINs, customer numbers, passwords, and even security questions.

 

Overall, cyber security is vital now, especially with more flexible working patterns such as remote or hybrid working. Those that are not using company devices, networks, or internet providers must ensure that they are being protected from cyber-attacks and breaches. Businesses and employers must provide their employees with the necessary information, safeguarding tips, and software to keep themselves and the organisation secure.


 
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