Around 59% of the global population is active on the internet and there are possibilities that a huge amount of organizations and individuals do not focus on security and privacy while operating online tasks. The risk, however, increases with an increased number of remote workers, especially at these times. The COVID-19 has abruptly changed the whole working scenario of the businesses and the world has suddenly shifted to work from home practice.
Around 70% of the 317 CFOs and businesses surveyed by Gartner stated to shift their majority of workspace to work-from-home even after the pandemic. With giant organizations like Google and Facebook adopting the same practice and thinking to take it further, WFH has become the new normal these days. But with this practice directly or indirectly keeps the organization’s security at risk.
With more remote working arises higher chances of cyber-attacks and cybercrimes. An FB official recently said they are receiving 1000 complaints a day through their internet portal before but during COVID-19 the registered cybercrime cases have increased to 3000-4000 a day.
Remote workers should practice:
- Keep their devices up to date.
- Protect their password
- Keep monitoring for malicious activities
- Leverage network segmentation
- Protect their web applications
The new surge in attacks targeting remote workers can be prevented with the following steps.
The very first step towards ensuring security is cybereducation. The organizations should know work-from-home is not a practice that is known to every employee and some of them might make mistakes. The organizations should teach the employees to be on security grounds while educating them with the latest security measures and updates. Here are some of the points to consider:
- The employees should learn about cybersecurity, cyber hygiene, enterprise network, and management.
- It is necessary to create cyber awareness among the employees.
- The organizations should conduct courses on the threat landscape, practices to protect their home network, and ways to secure company network.
- There should be seminars and webinars related to firewall policies, user authentication, SSL, VPN, routing, and other cyber essentials.
2. Cyber hygiene
In today’s pandemic rise, it is more important to take precautious steps towards security and maintain a cyber hygiene routine. Cyber hygiene routines are essential to prevent cybercriminals from stealing personal information, installing malware and viruses, and breaching security.
Even when it is difficult for cybercriminals to attack directly, they might follow the indirect way to attack the organizations or employees working remotely. Some of the common cyber hygiene problems the remote workers are constantly facing are loss of data, misplaced data, outdated software, old security software, and misplaced risk management. To maintain cyber hygiene and to empower security, the employees or remote workers must follow security protocols and patch. Yes, patching is the most efficient way to cover holes or prevent the exploitation of personal data.
Here are some of the measures that can help remote workers to concede security:
- The employees should keep updating software.
- The IT team and security team should work together and patch every vulnerability, replace unavailable updates as well as keep looking at any unnoticed threats.
- There should be an immediate response to security breaches and the security team should have backup plans in case needed.
The new surge in attacks on remote workers can be controlled by taking proper security measures, adopting new security methods, and evaluating the available security tools. The remote workers can have a provided connectivity for a secure Virtual Private Network. They can focus on advanced security methods such as endpoint protection, and immediate response to detect and defuse live threats. The remote workers should keep on contacting their network service providers or cable operators to check if the provided network connection is secure and solid.
There are cases when the employee’s data is hacked or derelict because of the loose-ends in their home network or remote network. To counter this, the employees or remote workers must enable security into their home routers and wireless networks.
The remote workers should always be aware of fishing attacks and think twice before responding to an unknown email. Since phishing is the most common hack for the cybercriminals, the remote workers should ensure their email gateway is capable of filtering spams or phishing attacks. Along with this, it is important to eliminate fishy attachments and secure data in every possible way.
With these three Cs in place, the remote workers can be protected with any kind of attack. The raised pandemic might have created a suspenseful void while increasing the security gaps for the remote workers but yes there are solutions. The remote workers and employees can follow the above steps and ensure the complete security of their data.