As the current pandemic rages on, more and more companies are adopting remote working models and hackers trying to bank on consumer’s fears are churning out scams more than ever. Remote working offers many benefits to businesses but can also pose certain challenges, including security threats. While some businesses have a good enough cyber and network security system in place, many are not aware of the severe risks involved in connecting remotely. In this article, we shall be discussing some security concerns of companies offering remote work and measures to be taken to curb the threats.
Phishing attacks are one of the most common cybersecurity threats of working remotely and are widely recognized as the top cause of data breaches. The World Health Organization, Homeland Security, Global security centers, and the U.S. Secret Service have all warned of coronavirus-related phishing scams. Hackers exploit the coronavirus to send seemingly legitimate, deceptive emails with malicious links and attachments. Once the employee clicks on this malicious link, their system is instantly infected, and the hacker gains access to the employer’s device. Sometimes, the employees are taken to realistic websites where information about their credentials are requested. Many comply, comprising their logins.
The solutions are not farfetched. Employees should be regularly reminded that legitimate groups do not request personal information. Also, they should verify any hyperlink before clicking on it and normalize pausing before responding. They should beware of any email insisting on immediate action, generic greetings or an unfamiliar sender are other markers. While bad spelling and grammar usually indicate phishing attacks, properly written communique can be just as dangerous.
Often, the personal devices of employees are not secure and can pose the risk of unauthorized access to organization’s data. Hence, it is recommended that personal devices should be vetted by employer IT prior to being used for company work. Better still, the organization can ensure that employees are restricted to using only company devices. These devices meet the minimal security benchmark, their hardware is designed to work within a corporate network, and the software has been optimized to cater to the specific needs of the individual user within the company environment.
Home networks and free WiFi available at cafes, libraries, or other public places carry a steep security price tag. In other words, these networks have weaker protocols, unencrypted traffic, and are insecure. Cybercriminals target such environments, leaving cyber mines that activate when a user of interest uses the network. Hence, remote workers should ensure that they use secure network traffic. If the employee didn’t have access to secure WiFi, the company should provide Hotspot.
Weak or Insecure Passwords
Passwords are mandatory security protocols that protect the gateway to data and information. However, they become less relevant and incredibly easy to crack when they are simple or weak. Weak passwords are often short and guessable. Furthermore, if an insecure password is used across several platforms, it allows hackers to gain unauthorized access to multiple accounts in a very short period of time.
Finally, if you notice new programs that were not previously installed, your computer slowing down, strange pop-up ads on your screen, or you lose control of your mouse or keyboard, then your device might be under attack from hackers. Be sure to notify your company’s IT administrator so they can immediately mitigate risk. These threats can have damaging impacts on businesses. Therefore, employers must rapidly ensure the security of every device or system being used.