It is a fact now that remote working has taken over the world. Especially in the last two years, approximately, a sudden digital transformation has had to take place in the economy to facilitate a locked-down working population. Migration to remote work has several benefits as well as several disadvantages. Remote employees could have their files stolen, among other things that can happen. Equally daunting for organizations as it is for employees, is cyber-risks. Cybersecurity is important when functioning remotely. For organizations, the fact that employees are remote means that their data is stored on a cloud, that they use mobile data, and probably their own devices for work. Factors such as these, and also many more that we will cover below, can lead to potential security risks. We will also look at the solutions and proactive measures for remote working risks in the next sections.

What Are The Dangers When Working Remotely?

There are many cybersecurity (online safety) risks to take into account that attach themselves to the several benefits of working remotely. It is a double-edged sword, which means that if organizations and their employees are not careful or cyber-aware enough, there can be serious consequences for both parties. Remote work has shown much-improved efficiency over classical office models of work, as well as a less stressful and more individual experience overall, but cybersecurity must not be forgotten while enjoying these benefits. Below is a comprehensive list of remote working dangers that both parties must take into account;

  • Ransomware attacks
  • DDoS attacks
  • Spyware
  • Malware
  • Data breaches
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Several types of phishing scams
  • Internal threats
  • Privacy risks and breaches
  • Other BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) risks

It is important to remember that 90% of the above risks arise from human error. Most people will think that external risks (such as cyber-attacks from cybercriminals) are the biggest threat to businesses and organizations, however, this is not the case. It is most often simple errors in safe computing practices, as well as the odd disgruntled employee that can cause the biggest problems. Most businesses today that care about what they do, have at the bare minimum, a Virtual Private Network, and firewalls fired up. Most will also have some sort of cloud storage security or at the very least a cyber insurance of some kind. Therefore, a successful direct attack on an organization’s (however small or big it may be) systems is not something that happens very often.

Potential Real-World Scenarios

Think of it this way if you are an employee; you have access to the company systems, perhaps even elevated privileges, and you use multiple devices that connect to your home wi-fi router. These multiple devices communicate with your company network at all times (be that through business messaging apps or cloud storage etc.) Furthermore, that same sensitive work information and communications are going through your personal devices, via your home wireless network back and forth. What could go wrong, right? What if, in this case, your wi-fi router is compromised or you have shared your credentials with someone on social media? What if you decide to let a hacker in on purpose? How about this next scenario, then. You are the owner of an organization with x amount of employees who log in each day, have access to company systems and apps, as well as the company email. Now, one of your employees decides to open an email link that seems legitimate but is in actuality a phishing email containing an infected link. Now, by opening that link, the employee has potentially infected your entire system network with a virus or malware. Here’s an even worse scenario: you are now infected with ransomware because of employee negligence, and your company data has been taken hostage. The only way to take your files back is to pay a million-dollar ransom.

How to Keep Cyber-Risks at Bay While Remote Working

The above examples, as ridiculous as they may sound, have happened. These are only a few examples of what internal and external cybersecurity threats can do to your business, or you personally if you are an employee. Therefore, below are expert tips that will help you keep such cyber-risks (and others) at bay. These tips and criteria apply to any sort of remote work;

  • Are you using a premium Virtual Private Network or VPN to protect your internet data transmissions at all times?
  • Have you secured your devices?
  • Have you secured your home wifi-router?
  • Do you cover your webcam after use?
  • Are your passwords protected?
  • Do you click on malicious email links, or reply to suspicious emails?
  • Is your software up to date?
  • Have you enabled two-factor or MFA authentication where possible?
  • Do you encourage your staff to back up their data?
  • Do you use a safe cloud storage solution
  • Do you use encryption for your data?

Asking yourself these questions, no matter if you are a remote worker or the CEO of an organization, could save you from financial loss, personal problems as well as many other headaches down the road.

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f3e7s1?v4a60e9ef938a7fa0240ac9ba567062cb How to Keep Your Remote Working Files Secure

f3e7s1?v4a60e9ef938a7fa0240ac9ba567062cb How to Keep Your Remote Working Files Secure

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