Working from home was once considered a luxury. It became a necessity, with individuals all around the world being quarantined due to the coronavirus. This is a game-changer not only for workers in the world’s wealthiest countries (where the largest companies with the most lucrative positions tend to locate), but also for worldwide employment and, as a result, amplifying the social mobility in poorer countries. The additional freedom acquired by remote work revolutionizes the work environment, but it also represents a significant security risk to existing IT infrastructures that must be considered.
What is a secure workplace?
The Secure Workplace is a comprehensive solution that addresses all facets of modern and secure workplaces, including secure home offices, data loss prevention, and encrypted communication, like chat and email. It is the firm’s responsibility to ensure that its employees have a safe working environment. One of the most important strategies for remote work security is remote work security awareness—recognizing and acknowledging that security risks exist. That may seem elementary, but it is the common denominator in both the technological and human aspects of remote work security. Failing to recognize that there are some inherent security challenges in working remotely increases the likelihood of security incidents occurring. Furthermore, a distributed workforce limits a company’s capacity to act and respond to incidents. This is especially true because technology’s use and landscape have grown increasingly sophisticated over time, and complexity is the enemy of security.
Security risks of working remotely
Although remote work is becoming more frequent, traditional IT security measures have always been perimeter-based, which means they have focused on what happens inside the office and on the corporate network. Because workers are accessing company data and systems from outside the corporate perimeter, the potential for security hazards increases when users conduct their job obligations from distant places such as a home office or coffee shops. The following are examples of remote work security issues:
- Unsecured Wi-Fi networks: Using inadequately secured public or home Wi-Fi networks to access company data and systems could expose a corporate network to unauthorized access.
- Using your own computer or tablet: The use of personal devices for work, such as laptops or cellphones, is becoming more prevalent, resulting in a proliferation of gadgets that may not follow corporate security requirements.
- Human aspects: Human nature poses one of the most serious security threats. Employees who are unaware of security issues, such as phishing schemes, may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Employees who are distracted may unintentionally expose their login credentials in a public place.
- Dearth of security knowledge and training for remote workers: Employees who haven’t been trained on security best practices are more likely to e.g. use weak passwords and expose their company to other hazards.
- Reduced visibility: When workers work from home, IT personnel loses sight of the endpoints they’re utilizing and possibly dangerous user behavior.
A core collection of best practices for limiting and mitigating the hazards inherent in a remote workforce is a comprehensive remote working security policy, implementing strong security protocols and technologies for remote access like, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and the usage of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), educating employees on identifying risks, and strengthening your general security hygiene (such as strong, frequently changed passwords) even when people aren’t in the office are all examples of remote work security best.