Hybrid Workspaces

Securing the Work From Home Employee

May 28, 2024

In recent years, a number of tech companies have transitioned to fully remote or partially remote work setups. Some companies prepared for remote work in advance, while others had to adapt quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid transition left many companies more vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches, which cybercriminals are now exploiting. The National Cyber Security Alliance reported a big increase in cybersecurity incidents for businesses worldwide in 2021. More than 60% of companies said they had at least a 25% increase in incidents.

Consequences of neglecting security protocol and training

The current protocols and training programs were created before the pandemic, and the world has changed a lot since then. Your employees now use connections and devices outside your control to access important company information. This increases the risk of cybersecurity threats for your company.

Neglecting security protocols and training could result in serious consequences for your company, including:

Low employee morale leading to inaction

When your employees lack training to identify and deal with emerging security threats, they may experience a sense of helplessness or uncertainty when confronted with an attack. In a remote work environment, reaching out for assistance can prove to be challenging.

Limiting of Business Growth

Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to your credibility and reputation in the market. This not only presents difficulties in attracting new customers, but also maintaining trust with existing ones as they become reluctant to entrust you with their valuable information.

Business Downtime

DDoS attacks have increased significantly in the last few months, leading to website downtime and disruption of business operations.

Compromise of Data Protection

If you don't protect yourself, cybercriminals can steal confidential client data, patents, sales information, business plans, and more.

Financial Impact

A recent report in 2021 reveals that the worth of ransom demands has skyrocketed, reaching a staggering amount surpassing $1 million. However, the repercussions of paying such a ransom go way beyond mere financial losses. A breach could result in significant monetary setbacks, the compromise of your clients' sensitive financial information, irreparable damage to your reputation, and numerous other dire consequences.

Legal Repurcussions

Failing to protect yourself against cyberattacks can lead to consumer lawsuits, fines, sanctions, and even business shutdowns.

Securing the Hybrid and Work from Home Workforce

To safeguard your company from cyberattacks and data breaches, it is crucial to continually adapt and innovate to outpace cybercriminals. With a majority of employees working remotely, breaching your defenses can be alarmingly simple. Indeed, a publicly shared password on a team chat app, an inadvertent click on a phishing link, or accessing confidential company information through a public Wi-Fi connection may be all it takes. That's why implementing a new IT policy specifically addressing the needs of a remote workforce is imperative. Additionally, providing comprehensive security training to all employees is essential.

Personal Device Protection

When granting permission for employees to use their personal devices for work purposes, it is imperative that you take on the responsibility of ensuring a minimum standard is upheld. It is crucial to establish clear guidelines and differentiate what is acceptable from what is not. This includes specifying the approved types of devices, operating systems, applications, and websites that can be accessed. Additionally, it is essential to provide your employees with a comprehensive list of the security, remote access, VPN, and other tools they must install before commencing work. Transparently communicate the level of access and control you have over their devices, as well as the extent of technical support your company can offer. Lastly, inform your employees about the company's right to modify or erase data on their devices when necessary.

Network Security

To protect valuable company data, it is crucial to establish strict security measures for both public Wi-Fi and home Wi-Fi networks. While these networks are convenient, they are far from secure, especially when compared to the LAN connection in your office. To minimize the risk of data breaches, it is imperative to enforce robust security standards.

Start by determining the required Wi-Fi encryption standards, ensuring that all connections are adequately protected. Additionally, mandate strong and complex Wi-Fi passwords to enhance network security. Implement reliable network security software and follow router safety guidelines to further safeguard sensitive information. Furthermore, carefully define the types of devices that can access the network, keeping a tight control over potential vulnerabilities.

Equally important is discouraging the use of public Wi-Fi whenever possible. If employees have no alternative, provide them with a comprehensive set of safety guidelines. Emphasize the importance of establishing a secure connection, complying with WPA3 standards, and avoiding potentially hazardous websites.

By implementing and enforcing these essential security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of data compromise and ensure the protection of crucial company information.

Security Awareness Training

The rapid shift to remote work has left IT teams in many organizations overwhelmed, juggling support requests and the critical task of safeguarding data and digital assets. It's essential to ensure that your employees receive comprehensive cybersecurity training to effectively counter prevalent and evolving cyber threats. This training should cover a wide range of topics, including password management, multifactor authentication, recognizing phishing and ransomware attacks, securing personal devices against cyber threats, updating security software, configuring Wi-Fi and VPNs, safe email practices, and responding to cyberattacks, among other crucial areas.

Boost Your Cybersecurity Protection

The surge in cybercrime worldwide is a serious issue, and the current economic downturn is likely to exacerbate the situation. It's imperative to remain vigilant and ensure that everyone in your organization is prepared to defend against potential threats. However, tackling this challenge alone can be daunting and may require a significant investment of time and effort.

Collaborating with a specialized IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Server At Work can alleviate this burden, allowing you to concentrate on your business while we handle the intricacies of cybersecurity.