In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are having their employees work from home. This is a great idea for many reasons, but there are risks to be aware of.
Going Remote Makes Sense With the COVID-19 Pandemic
Obviously, if your business is deemed “non-essential,” your office is closed. While the definition varies from place to place, the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have given us some guidelines on what kind of services are essential.
The list includes many businesses that could easily operate remotely, given the internal capabilities. However, cybersecurity is an issue. We’ll show you why, and what you can do to control risk.
More Security Threats for Remote Offices
The current global health disaster has created a remote office boom that is a big opportunity for cybercriminals because:
- • The office security network obviously doesn’t protect employees and their devices at home.
- • Employees may have more lax security habits at home in their pajamas.
- • Cybercriminals can shape more convincing scams based on the current climate.
- • Remote work is new to many businesses so they don’t have the strategies to keep their remote offices secure.
Cybersecurity professionals are seeing an increase in ransomware attacks, remote access tools, and trojans. Cybercriminals are using COVID-19 as bait during their phishing attacks, taking advantage of the stress that the coronavirus is causing.
The fact that many remote workers will check their personal emails alongside their professional ones increases the chance that they will let down their guard. Scammers also pose as the hiring business to get remote employees to give up sensitive information.
Attackers are also more successful in targeting businesses directly because businesses are focusing on COVID-19 preparedness and letting security slide.
Is Your Business an Easy Fit For Remote Work?
Not all businesses find it easy to adapt, especially in industries that aren’t commonly associated with remote operations, and whose systems may be outdated and poorly maintained, or generally not conducive to remote capabilities. Industries with extra regulations and certification requirements have even more challenges to face.
Cyber Security Solutions to Protect Remote Workers
Here are a few solutions that will assist businesses in securing their remote workers from attack:
- • Cloud Solutions – Simple and secure, the cloud is ideal for remote working. Using the cloud, instead of having users remote into an at-work solution, prevents the creation of an external access point that leads back to your network. Because it can host software and store data, the cloud allows your employees to work safely in isolation from your network.
- • Company Issued Equipment – With a company-issued device, you can standardize and control security systems and updates. While this will require some investment, it will be a lasting benefit to your security and productivity.
- • Employee Training and Education – We can’t overstress the importance of this. Your employees need to understand the danger, even if they are working in their sweatpants. Make sure they know the importance of security updates, how to spot phishing attacks and other preventative measures. Employee training is an investment you should never skip.
In a way, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to put best practices into place that should always be followed. Whether you’re an essential business or not we can help. Give us a call at (973) 882-4644.