In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of remote workers. The number skyrocketed in recent months as a worldwide pandemic forced even remote work sceptics to move their work belongings home and keep their businesses going from there. And even though there are many proven benefits of remote working, there are security risks that employees, as well as employers, must consider.
Designed to create an effective working experience, remote working set up usually allows employees to access corporate databases, email, servers and customer data. However, employees often forget that without the company’s private internet connection they become vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
What are the signs of a cyberattack?
Employers and workers need to be aware of the signs of cyber attacks so the data can be protected from further breaches. Unfortunately, not all attacks will be visible as some are done in the background with the user being completely oblivious to it. Some of the signs to look out for are:
- Suspicious email addresses
- Password activity (emails with password reset requests)
- Transaction activity
- Slow network
- Suspicious pop-ups
- New programmes appeared
- Loss of control of mouse or keyboard
Where remote workers are at risk the most?
Using public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, restaurants or similar establishments can be extremely dangerous as these ‘hotspot’ networks are accessible for every pedestrian or passerby. Also, when renting coworking spaces extra careful attention should be paid at what internet connection is being used and how secure it actually is. Working in a building where the network is provided by the landlord and shared by several different organisation currently occupying the spaces may leave employees at risk of having their data compromised. However, one of the most occurring ways of remote workers being compromised is via their work email. Without an additional security layer, it becomes relatively easy for scammers to gain access to employees email accounts and send a phishing email to their contact list.
Luckily, there are a few types of security measures that employees and employers can deploy to prevent cyber attacks. We gathered a list of a few most reliable types of protection.
Use a Virtual Private Network
Setting up a VPN connection should be the very first step when preparing an employee for remote working. VPNs create secure access to an organisation’s internal network and data, from anywhere by providing a secure tunnel between an individual’s device and the service data centre, encrypting the transmitted data.
Data Loss Prevention
Data loss prevention (also called Data Loss Protection) is a strategy that protects sensitive corporate information from being misused, lost or accessed by unauthorised users. DLP tools classify confidential, regulated and business-critical data and identify policy violations. It helps prevent employees from sending critical information outside of the company’s corporate network and serves as a strong stopgap for potential information leaks.
Multi-factor authentication requires the user to provide several verification factors in order to gain access. Instead of just asking for username and password, multi-factor authentications asks for two or more different ways of verifying employee’s identity which decreases the likelihood of cyberattacks.
Even though data security is extremely important for employers, employees too can take actions to protect their devices and network such as installing company recommended firewalls and maintaining regular communication with the IT department.
Welltel provides organisations with several different remote work and unified communications tools and systems that are safe to use. Get in touch with us today and our experienced team will advise you on the best remote work solutions for your business.