Recent surveys found that during the pandemic, over half of employed Americans have transitioned to working from home. But while home-based working certainly has a lot of benefits for both employers and employees, the sudden transition has left many companies scrambling to come up with relevant security protocols and policies to reduce the risk of cyberattacks due to remote working. Understanding the main security risks for businesses with employees working from home is key to putting together a strategy to keep your company, employees, and data safe during these times.
Weak Home Networks and Unprotected Devices
Remote workers are often the first to face cyber threats since they tend to be working from less secure home Wi-Fi networks and often on personal devices that might not be as well-protected as the work PC. It’s important to ensure that you know what equipment is being used, who is using it, and how well-protected it is. Having strong policies in place regarding the antivirus software that employees must use in order to be able to work from their personal devices at home is a good start.
The risk of a cyberattack that starts with a phishing email is even greater when your employees are working from home. Since your employees might be accessing their own device for both work and personal reasons, you’re now not only at risk of phishing on a work-based email but also on employees’ personal emails too. With both individuals and companies losing over three billion dollars to phishing scams in 2019, it has never been more important to educate your employees on how to recognize and respond to anything that has the potential to be this type of scam.
Zoom has become a household name during this pandemic and has often been the software of choice for employers who need to keep in contact with their employees via virtual meetings. However, the increasingly popular app has come under scrutiny after a surge in attacks where hackers gain access to video meetings in order to spread malicious content. Using a VPN, improving home Wi-Fi network security and strong passwords can all help keep your company video calls safe.
Weak Security and IT Support
Small businesses in particular have become a key target for hackers and cybercriminals who often find it easier to get past security systems that are not as strong as the ones in place at the larger companies. Hackers know that small businesses do not usually have the budget for a professional in-house IT department and employees working from home will only weaken your security defense even further. There has never been a better time than the present to consider working with a company like Iconic IT; you can outsource all IT and security tasks to a professional company to get access to experts, technologies, techniques, and security strategies that might be difficult to afford in-house.
If your small business is switching to remote working due to COVID-19, don’t ignore the security risks of making this switch.