Working from home is now much more common-place globally since the pandemic. Many believe that remote working will continue to be common across many industries, even after the pandemic has passed. While it is practical and offers numerous advantages, working from home also exposes people and businesses to a variety of cybersecurity dangers. Because of this, home cybersecurity must be seriously considered. You may simply reduce the majority of cybersecurity hazards at home by adhering to basic practices.
Certain cybersecurity dangers, phishing in particular, have increased in frequency with the rise in remote working. One major problem is that an IT team often handles office cybersecurity in most organizations and these teams can not be working at people’s homes. Staff must be extra vigilant about cybersecurity concerns when working remotely in a distributed workforce.
In this article we will see some cybersecurity tips to ensure you and your remote employees are working safely.
Significance of Remote Working
Why is safety important while working from home?
How to ensure your employees work from home safely?
Should you be aware from risks of working remotely?
- Cybercrime is thought to cost businesses around the world $1.5 billion annually. As hackers attempt to access private information by using company VPNs and home internet networks, this number is only expected to rise.
- Each person on the planet will produce almost 1.7 MB of data each second by the year 2020, according to predictions.
- In the MEA region, well-known oil and gas companies like Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia and RasGas of Qatar, among others, faced significant data breaches affecting a significant portion of their computer networks. The past decade alone has seen some major data breaches and cyber-attacks on big players such as Facebook, Yahoo, Exactis, eBay, Equifax, etc.
Significance of Remote Working
Employee retention, increased productivity, and staff motivation are just a few advantages of remote working. And not just employees who work from home can participate in remote work (telecommuting), freelancers, contract workers, frontline employees, foreign employees, etc. are all included. Additionally, a distant business might maintain a presence through an office. One advantage of remote work is that employees spend a few days at the office and the rest at home, ensuring face-to-face communication.
Employees that work remotely can do so from any location, which is one of its “plus” points. Remote working facilitates working professionals from a single family to not relocate and keep their jobs or at least smoothens the transition if one spouse must be based or assigned in a specific place. Living at the top of a mountain or close to the ocean is irrelevant when working remotely. One can work from anywhere around the globe, as long as they have a strong internet connection.
Why is Safety Important While Working From Home?
- When you’re at work, in the office, you’re typically using a network that has antivirus software, firewalls, and automatic online backup capabilities. As long as we’re online, we’re at risk. As a result of these antivirus, malware has a difficult time accessing your device or discovering any personal information.
- Even though your connection is undoubtedly secure, most people just don’t have the same security tools while working from home. Additionally, the risk of security breaches increase quickly if one works from their neighbourhood café or coffee shop, or from any other unsecured public area wifi network.
- Due to data leaks, companies can suffer significant financial losses, they also lose customers and it also declines their brand’s image, value, loyalty, and reputation.
- These large-scale hacks serve as evidence of the need for improved cybersecurity procedures and an effective organizational culture that values cybersecurity.
- Cyberattacks and data breaches can have catastrophic consequences. Organizations must proactively safeguard their data and frequently upgrade their security protocols.
How to Ensure Your Employees Work From Home Safely?
You can recommend the following points to your employees who work from home to ensure their safety or if you’re a remote worker then these points will ensure your safety.
1. Use antivirus and internet security software at home
Purchasing a complete antivirus suite for you and your staff is one of the best security recommendations for remote workers. You, your company, and your employees may be vulnerable to ransomware, DDoS, malware, spyware, and other forms of breaches as a result of these attacks. Antivirus suites relieve you of such breaches by providing automatic remote work security against a variety of threats, such as:
- 0 day attacks (viruses taking advantage of security flaws before they are patched)
- viruses, spyware, and malware
- Worms and Trojans
- Phishing scams, including email-based ones
A thorough antivirus program, like Kaspersky Total Security, can not only defend against up to 100% of online security risks, but it also regularly updates itself to stay on top of fresh dangers. One won’t even be aware of the labor-intensive work it’s doing because it operates covertly in the background of your other operations.
2. Keep family members away from work devices
While you may have faith in your tech-savvy staff to keep themselves safe online, it’s important to keep in mind that when staff members work from home, company computers are more likely to come into contact with small children and other family members.
Therefore, it’s crucial to remind employees to keep their hardware secure and prevent family members from accessing their work laptops, phones, and other hardware. Reminding them of the value of password-protecting their devices to stop unauthorized users from accessing private information is also important.
3. Invest in a sliding webcam cover
Participating in teleconferences and video chats while working from home typically necessitates the usage of a camera. Unfortunately, crafty hackers can quickly and illegally access your webcam, jeopardizing your privacy. Even worse, hackers may be able to view any private documents you have lying around your actual office by seizing control of your webcam.
When not in use, you should unplug your webcam if it is separate from your device. You should take extra precautions to protect yourself if your webcam is built-in because you never know when a webcam attack can happen.
4. Use a VPN
Connecting your computer to the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to work remotely opens up additional “back doors” for home office security that hackers might potentially exploit. It’s crucial to give staff members advice on working securely from home, as well as any necessary policies. Businesses should search for measures to increase the security of their VPN.
Using the strongest authentication technique available can improve VPN security. Although a username and password are commonly used by VPNs, you might want to consider upgrading to the use of smart cards. By switching from a Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol to a Layer Two Tunneling Protocol, for instance, you can improve your encryption mechanism for VPN access (L2TP).
5. Use a centralized storage solution
Make sure all of your staff are using the cloud or server storage if your business depends on it. If you believe your staff are still storing data locally or are unaware of your centralized storage service, talk to them to make sure they are aware of it. In this approach, you are more likely to have a backup of those important documents, in case your business is compromised and local data are lost, destroyed, or corrupted. Important documents will also be safer using this strategy because your centralized storage solution’s firewall will be able to safeguard them.
6. Secure your home Wi-Fi
Increasing the security of your home Wi-Fi network is one of the simplest ways to guarantee cybersecurity for remote employees. This is achievable by following a few simple steps.
Instead of depending on the default password that came with your router, create a strong, one-of-a-kind password. By entering “192.168.1.1” into your browser, you may access the router’s settings page and change the password there. Make sure to use a password that is challenging for anyone to decipher. On the same settings page, you may modify your wireless network’s SSID, or name, to make it more challenging for outsiders to locate and use your home Wi-Fi network. Never use anything that could be used to identify you, including your name or home address.
7. Beware of Zoom and video conferencing
Video Conferencing software is frequently used when working remotely, which could pose security issues to WFH.
For instance, after a string of alleged “Zoom bombing” attacks, Zoom was forced to fix security holes in the past. Uninvited individuals break into someone else’s video conference during these attacks in order to intimidate and harass other participants. Although the Zoom app is where the phrase “Zoom bombing” originated, similar events have happened on other platforms. Sensitive information about your organization or your clients could be leaked if your video chats are bugged and watched, which poses threats to your business. Hacker attacks on members of your staff could be traumatic and personal.
8. Make sure your passwords are strong and secure
Strengthening your passwords and ensuring that you have optimum password security across all of your devices are two of the easiest, yet sometimes disregarded, ways to secure yourself when working from home.
This recommendation is made by the US Federal Trade Commission, “On all of your hardware and software, use passwords. A mix of numbers, symbols, capital, and lowercase letters, together with at least 12 characters, should be used to create strong, unique passwords.”
9. Protect your online banking
Making sure that money is transported and held in the safest manners is imperative if you are in charge of managing corporate accounts. An online banking platform security breach is the last thing you want to happen. It’s crucial to manage money with just approved software and services. Use only services you are familiar with and are aware of. Before using a platform if you have any doubts about its reliability, look online for reviews and other information. Credible organizations should provide contact information on their websites for real persons that clients can speak to if they have any issues.
Hackers, scammers, and phishers could attempt to contact you through phone, email, or social media advertisements. They might ask for your bank information if they wish to assist you in making significant purchases or donations. Never divulge your bank information to anyone or send money to any unsolicited sellers unless you are certain they are who they claim to be. Keep in mind that con artists may attempt to pose as your coworkers, clients, or professional organizations, such as your bank, in order to fool you into disclosing sensitive information or transferring money. Be cautious and don’t be afraid to request extra identification from anyone.
10. Be wary of email scams and your email security
Emails are necessary for interoffice communication. Emails are one of the most easily abused and compromised forms of communication, though. Make sure the following points are kept in mind:
- Make sure that only your company’s VPN, which establishes an encrypted network connection, can be used to access emails securely. The VPN authenticates the user and/or device and encrypts data while it is being transmitted between the user and your services. Make sure your VPN is fully patched if you already use one.
- When employees are away from the workplace or their homes, they are more prone to have their equipment stolen or lost. To secure email data on the device in the event of loss or theft, make sure their devices encrypt data at rest. Although encryption is usually already present in current devices, it may still need to be enabled and set.
- Watch out for phishing assaults, which seem to be taking on an increasing variety of shapes.
Should You Be Aware of Risks of Working Remotely?
Without the security safeguards provided by office systems, such as firewalls and blacklisted IP addresses, and because of our increased reliance on technology, we are far more susceptible to cyberattacks. Since most of our work is done online, this risk is the most evident. After all, there’s always a chance that a cyber thief will compromise something if it’s online. With so much information being shared digitally, your attack surface has expanded significantly. Your Cloud documents, emails and attachments, instant message clients, and third-party services are all at risk.
The potential for attackers to send phishing emails is another danger that remote workers must deal with. These con tricks are intended to trick you into providing your information or downloading a malicious attachment that contains a keylogger. Even while phishing risks should be a top priority, the current coronavirus epidemic makes them even more dangerous. According to a recent study, there has been a 600 percent rise in reported phishing emails since the end of February, with many of them taking use of the pandemic’s uncertainties to their advantage. All work should, whenever possible, be done on a corporate laptop that is subject to remote access security measures in order to mitigate this risk. We should always be aware of the risks of working remotely.
Through this article we can understand the role of cybersecurity when working from home. When we do our work online then we are at high risk. No one knows how you can get fooled by the cyber scammers. That’s why you should always stay aware and you can use the above points to ensure the safety of yourself and your remote workers.
1. What is cybersecurity?
The protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft, or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they offer, is known as computer security, cybersecurity, or information technology security.
2. What are the types of cyber security?
- Application security
- Network security
- Cloud security
- Internet of Things (IoT) security
3. What is cybercrime?
Any criminal behavior involving a computer, a networked device, or a network is considered a cybercrime. While the majority of cybercrimes are committed to make money for the perpetrators, some are committed against specific systems or devices in order to harm or disable them.
4.What to do after a cyber attack?
- Find out if your information was compromised and confirm the breach.
- Find out what kind of data was impacted or stolen.
- Accept any assistance offered by the breached organization.
- Your login information and passwords should be updated and strengthened.
- Make the appropriate contacts and take further action.
- Be on guard. follow up on your accounts.