Remote working has been on the rise for a number of years, with many organisations giving employees more flexibility in how/where they work. The recent pandemic has furthered this trend, in many instances, forcing organisations to work remotely.
Whether you think remote working is something for the long-term or merely a short-term challenge, cyber security is something that needs to be addressed to ensure your business stays safe, compliant, and productive, for any teams working remotely.
In this article, we outline 8 simple ways you can reduce the risk of IT breaches from remote working. If you’d like to learn more about how you can leverage IT services to manage these tasks for you, simply reach out to our expert team here at Three Cherries.
Cyber Security for Remote Workers
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public or free Wi-Fi often brings with it an abundance of security risks.
Hackers can leverage insecure Wi-Fi in all sorts of ways. Benefiting from inadequate firewalls and anti-malware protection, perpetrators can use everything in their arsenal to gain access to your device.
They can even set up their own network that sounds similar to the Wi-Fi network you were intending to join and consequently see all the traffic/activity passing through your computer if you accidently joined their network. This can unfortunately be commonplace in cafes and co-working spaces.
As a result, any remote workers should be very wary of public Wi-Fi and ensure they are extra careful if working in public spaces. At the very least, ensuring all devices have the very best in firewall defence and security will help.
- Use Business Laptops/Computers
Remote workers may be tempted to use their own laptops or computers when working from home. In some instances, this may be suitable, however, it can also bring with it certain security risks.
IT teams are often continuously updating network security, blocking malicious sites, and doing all they can to keep data safe. Using devices not associated with the network means there is no knowledge or proactive strategy against any breaches in data.
With regard to regulations such as GDPR, failure to keep customer data safe can lead to serious consequences. Discovering a data breach was the result of an employee using their own laptop that had malware on it, isn’t going to come as any consolation for those affected.
If possible, giving remote workers official business laptops can help ensure you know everyone’s devices meet a specific standard regarding malware protection and anti-virus software.
- Be Aware of Phishing/Scams
Email and phone phishing scams unfortunately catch unsuspecting victims off-guard every day. With the growth in remote working, these scams are often leveraging what is happening in the news to get people’s attention. Phishing emails will often fraudulently impersonate NGOs, healthcare services, charities, banks, or the government.
Phishing scams will often register websites with very similar names to legitimate organisations. It could just be one or two letters different. Employees should be aware of such scams and be wary to open anything that doesn’t seem quite right.
Similarly, effective IT security often includes network filters for employee emails so phishing emails are unlikely to ever reach your team.
Our email management service takes care of all this for you.
Offices often enjoy a good level of security. Access control systems, CCTV and lots of co-workers means valuables and business equipment is often very safe.
Working from home relies on employees taking extra care and being cautious about theft.
Working downstairs and leaving the window open while you make a coffee in the kitchen, or taking a call in another room, may not sound like a big deal, but opportunist thieves may not think twice and grab your laptop before you return.
Particularly for organisations dealing with sensitive data, remote workers should ensure they do all they can to reduce the chance of losing company property/data.
- Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication is a simple way to bolster your security. This can include receiving a passcode via text if an employee tries to log-in to a system. This helps combat the risk of a hacker or thief gaining access to log-in details.
Similarly, network administrators can receive updates when someone tries to log-in to a system and identify any suspicious behaviour.
- Strong Passwords
Weak passwords provide easy access for hackers to gain entry into an account, network or system.
All it takes is one employee to set up an obvious password and a whole network could be compromised. As a result, setting up rules for password strength can avoid any weak passwords being used.
- Get Formal Cyber Security/IT Training
IT security is continuously adapting and evolving to keep up with potential threats and risks to a business. This means getting formal cyber training can be worth its weight in gold, helping organisations understand all the potential risks out there, and offering very personalised recommendations.
Our IT consultancy service here at Three Cherries is focused on listening to your needs and challenges so we can fully understand what it is you need and whether our solutions would be the best fit for you.
Having adequate back-ups is a vital component of effective IT support. This means should any issues arise, for example, a remote employee deleting important files, these mistakes can be reversed, and business can continue as normal, without any headaches.
Our data-backups here at Three Cherries are fully automated and require no involvement on your end.
Learn More with Three Cherries
From cyber security to IT consultancy, the team here at Three Cherries is perfectly positioned to help your organisation get the most out of technology and IT systems.
Adapting to the need for remote working is just one example of how our services can help your organisation thrive, whatever challenges you face.
To learn more about our services, simply get in touch with our expert team today.