Home » Cybersecurity » Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Cybersecurity for Remote Workers
While remote work can be an exciting opportunity for employees, it also comes with unique challenges—namely, cybersecurity. This article discusses some cybersecurity risks that remote workers face and offers potential solutions.

Home » Cybersecurity » Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

While remote work can be an exciting opportunity for employees, it also comes with unique challenges—namely, cybersecurity. This article discusses some cybersecurity risks that remote workers face and offers potential solutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has solidified remote work as a new operational standard. Employers should expect this trend to only grow in the future. Many major companies, such as Twitter and Microsoft, have indicated that remote work will be an indefinite option for their employees.

While this is exciting in many ways, remote work also comes with unique challenges—cybersecurity. This article discusses cybersecurity risks and solutions for remote workers.

 

Cyber Threats to Monitor

Hackers have been assaulting businesses since the first computer was invented, always trying new methods of gaining critical information. Depending on the organization’s size, it may receive dozens or thousands of hacking attempts daily. These attempts are typically brushed aside by IT security teams and firewalls. However, those protections aren’t as guaranteed with employees working from home.

The following are some of the most common cyber threats facing individuals:

  • Phishing and vishing: Phishing is an attempt to gain personal information, such as computer passwords, Social Security numbers, or other data. Hackers and scammers will impersonate a legitimate company and send fake emails to solicit this information, typically with a phony threat.

Vishing, or voice phishing, takes this process a step further. This is when a scammer spoofs a legitimate phone number (from within the organization or otherwise) and poses as an IT help desk, using that alias to solicit personal information. These calls may even be routed to personal cellphones, making it harder for organizations to catch. Vishing attempts are a recent trend but are increasingly prevalent. Employers should review existing cybersecurity policies to address vishing directly.

  • Malware: Malware is a computer virus typically disguised as an innocuous program, email attachment, or link. These viruses infect computers and can do any number of tasks, generally hidden from the user. For instance, they might store password data, track website activity, or download personal files.
  • Brute force attacks: Brute force attacks are when hackers try logging into someone’s account many, many times. These attempts often work when individuals reuse usernames and passwords across different accounts. A hacker may expose the information to one account, then use those credentials everywhere else they can, eventually gaining access.

These cyber-threats are made worse when employees are working from home, especially if they conduct business on personal devices or don’t connect to a secure network. That’s why employers must proactively address cyber threats with their remote workers.

 

Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

There is no single solution to avoiding cybersecurity threats. But there are vital steps organizations can take to protect their employees and critical data. Below are some of them.

  • Behavioral analytics tracking software: This software monitors each individual’s computer habits. Since hackers can impersonate an employee, it’s hard to detect when someone’s credentials have been compromised. With analytics tracking software, the program would be able to spot when a user is displaying abnormal computer usage. This will depend on the individual, but it may include accessing specific files or transferring large chunks of data.
  • Automated threat detection software: This software is like antivirus programs found on many computers by default. It can scan files and detect malicious programs automatically. Automated threat detection software often pairs with other efforts, such as behavioral analytics.
  • Comprehensive work-from-home guidelines: Using personal devices to conduct business is easy to compromise usernames and passwords. Employers should set clear policies regarding acceptable technology (often a work-provided laptop) and work locations. For instance, cafes may be off-limits because they often have unsecured networks.
  • Employee education: Education and training are perhaps the best protection against cyber threats. Employees should know basic cybersecurity tactics, such as how to spot a phishing email, recognize a scam caller, and report a potential security breach. They should also be instructed not to reuse login credentials, especially between work and personal accounts.

Employee education is critical as hackers and scammers become more sophisticated each week. Employers should keep an eye out for new scams and alert employees. As with any successful initiative, cybersecurity protocols must be observed by all organizational stakeholders. That means educating everyone, from the top down, about how to protect themselves and their workplace from cyber threats. The entire organization could be compromised if even a few individuals go without proper training.

The COVID-19 pandemic has solidified remote work as a new operational standard. Employers should expect this trend to only grow in the future. Many major companies, such as Twitter and Microsoft, have indicated that remote work will be an indefinite option for their employees.

While this is exciting in many ways, remote work also comes with unique challenges—cybersecurity. This article discusses cybersecurity risks and solutions for remote workers.

 

Cyber Threats to Monitor

Hackers have been assaulting businesses since the first computer was invented, always trying new methods of gaining critical information. Depending on the organization’s size, it may receive dozens or thousands of hacking attempts daily. These attempts are typically brushed aside by IT security teams and firewalls. However, those protections aren’t as guaranteed with employees working from home.

The following are some of the most common cyber threats facing individuals:

  • Phishing and vishing: Phishing is an attempt to gain personal information, such as computer passwords, Social Security numbers, or other data. Hackers and scammers will impersonate a legitimate company and send fake emails to solicit this information, typically with a phony threat.

Vishing, or voice phishing, takes this process a step further. This is when a scammer spoofs a legitimate phone number (from within the organization or otherwise) and poses as an IT help desk, using that alias to solicit personal information. These calls may even be routed to personal cellphones, making it harder for organizations to catch. Vishing attempts are a recent trend but are increasingly prevalent. Employers should review existing cybersecurity policies to address vishing directly.

  • Malware: Malware is a computer virus typically disguised as an innocuous program, email attachment, or link. These viruses infect computers and can do any number of tasks, generally hidden from the user. For instance, they might store password data, track website activity, or download personal files.
  • Brute force attacks: Brute force attacks are when hackers try logging into someone’s account many, many times. These attempts often work when individuals reuse usernames and passwords across different accounts. A hacker may expose the information to one account, then use those credentials everywhere else they can, eventually gaining access.

These cyber-threats are made worse when employees are working from home, especially if they conduct business on personal devices or don’t connect to a secure network. That’s why employers must proactively address cyber threats with their remote workers.

 

Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

There is no single solution to avoiding cybersecurity threats. But there are vital steps organizations can take to protect their employees and critical data. Below are some of them.

  • Behavioral analytics tracking software: This software monitors each individual’s computer habits. Since hackers can impersonate an employee, it’s hard to detect when someone’s credentials have been compromised. With analytics tracking software, the program would be able to spot when a user is displaying abnormal computer usage. This will depend on the individual, but it may include accessing specific files or transferring large chunks of data.
  • Automated threat detection software: This software is like antivirus programs found on many computers by default. It can scan files and detect malicious programs automatically. Automated threat detection software often pairs with other efforts, such as behavioral analytics.
  • Comprehensive work-from-home guidelines: Using personal devices to conduct business is easy to compromise usernames and passwords. Employers should set clear policies regarding acceptable technology (often a work-provided laptop) and work locations. For instance, cafes may be off-limits because they often have unsecured networks.
  • Employee education: Education and training are perhaps the best protection against cyber threats. Employees should know basic cybersecurity tactics, such as how to spot a phishing email, recognize a scam caller, and report a potential security breach. They should also be instructed not to reuse login credentials, especially between work and personal accounts.

Employee education is critical as hackers and scammers become more sophisticated each week. Employers should keep an eye out for new scams and alert employees. As with any successful initiative, cybersecurity protocols must be observed by all organizational stakeholders. That means educating everyone, from the top down, about how to protect themselves and their workplace from cyber threats. The entire organization could be compromised if even a few individuals go without proper training.

The Last Word

As the business world becomes more connected, cyber threats will get more sophisticated and commonplace. To better protect your organization, cybersecurity education for remote workers needs to be at the forefront. Speak with an InsureGood Advisor today for more cyber tips and other workplace guidance.

Additional Resources

an hr professional engaging low code software development

Low Code Software Development for HR

More HR departments and professionals are leveraging technology to reimagine common or time-consuming processes. This article explores how low code software development tools can support everyday HR activities and allow more time for higher-level or strategic job functions.

Read More

three key employees looking at a report

Identifying and Retaining Key Employees

Key employees are vital to the success of their organizations, so it is important to figure out who they are and how to keep them. Employers should stay alert to indicators of key employees within their organizations and figure out those workers’ desires so they can implement effective strategies to retain them.

Read More

"payday" sketched in a notebook highlighting today's compensation trends

Compensation Trends for 2023

More than ever, compensation is top of mind for employers and employees alike. This article explores today’s top compensation trends and how employers can best compete in the labor market looking ahead to 2023.

Read More

Loading...