Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we highlight the importance of creating and enforcing a solid cybersecurity strategy for employees who work remotely.
From embracing flexibility, to conserving energy, and to the now dire need to keep ourselves and others healthy, our reasons for working remotely are not always the same; however, the risks that come with remote work are mostly universal. The way organizations work has changed a lot over the last decade. Companies have started to embrace remote work culture, increase the number of freelancers on staff, and build a diverse workforce spread across continents.
However, this evolution comes with its own shortcomings and limitations, making data security more taxing than it should be. IT teams need to go the extra mile to ensure access to privileged data is restricted, corporate data is regularly audited, corporate assets and resources are encrypted in a timely manner, and their organization is compliant with data protection regulations — all while working remotely.
Aside from the basic security measures that we’re all familiar with, awareness about cybersecurity risks and procedures can come in handy during times like these. That said, here are some useful reads from the internet on building a cybersecurity strategy for employees who work remotely.
User education is even more critical now. With attackers waiting for the right time to target remote employees, and given past examples of how cyberattacks have been socially engineered to pick on organizations when they’re vulnerable, it’s clear that organizations need to take serious precautions.
Coronavirus-related phishing attacks are already on the rise, and organizations aren’t sure how long working from home will be mandated. Attackers will exploit the situation to break into your data, which is why it is necessary to get the cybersecurity fundamentals right on an employee level. From suspicious emails to unwarranted password reset requests, it is important that employees not fall prey to basic cyberattacks amidst the panic.
A foolproof remote strategy can be a huge advantage long after remote work becomes non-mandatory. And a solid remote work strategy does not stop with ensuring employees can access the resources they need for work; it extends to implementing remote work monitoring tools so IT can monitor employee activity for security risks.
Organizations without an existing remote work strategy are already finding it hard to adopt new tools as desperate measures. However, a temporary solution put in place to deal with this public health issue might turn into a vibrant and important part of your company’s online presence. That said, make sure you set up these three important things right and educate employees about them: encryption, protection, and patching.
For business continuity in the face of COVID-19, organizations must have a solid remote work policy in place. But a future that is highly dependent on remote work is on the horizon. Even after the world overcomes this pandemic, organizations will need to broaden the scope of their remote work policies to all applications to increase managers’ visibility into how employees are performing while working from home, and whether they’re following data security best practices.
Organizations should use this time to strengthen their monitoring, protection against data breaches, and strategy for responding to the exploitation of vulnerabilities. It is also time for companies that do not have a remote work strategy to devise one, and those that already have a strategy should update their plans. Today’s heightened cybersecurity risks make it crucial for organizations to put in place reactive as well as proactive security strategies for remote work.
Let’s keep ourselves and our data safe.