How to protect your business from cyber threats when working remotely

More businesses are adapting to remote working

Businesses, particularly over the recent years, have adapted and grown to the idea of working from home cultures. But this change hasn’t come without its fair share of challenges for IT teams to manage whilst businesses are choosing to work remotely. From insecure networks to lack of supervision, these factors all contribute towards putting businesses at risk for cyber threats.

Insecure networks & lack of cyber awareness

It’s no secret that home networks are not the most secure, especially compared to an internal company network. They often don’t have firewalls and other cyber security defences in place, to help prevent cyber criminals from being able to launch a successful cyber attack on your system.

Employees working in complete isolation means that there is less supervision around how data is managed, and suspicious activity is handled.

Increase in Phishing cyber attacks

One of the most common types of cyber threats launched on businesses is phishing. This type of cyber attack involves a hacker deceiving its victim through impersonating a trusted contact and enticing them into clicking on a malicious link or downloading an infected file.

We have particularly seen an increase in cyber criminals impersonating companies CEOs and high-level employees where you are less likely to question their authority and legitimacy. They may request details such as payment information, credit cards, passwords, and other confidential data from your employees in order to exploit this information and cause damage to your business.

This tactic is particularly successful with remote business, as employees have no way of verifying whether that person’s identity is real and instead trust that they are who they say they are. Therefore, the risk of data becoming compromised increases.

So how do you protect your business against a cyber attack?

 

Email Security

Businesses heavily rely on their email systems as a primary source of communication, both in and outside of work. This is why you need to put measures in place to ensure that your email communication systems are secure and are able to filter out suspicious emails.

However, the risk of cyber threats increases as many employees rely on sending and sharing confidential documents over their emails if they don’t have access to a virtual private network (VPN). To help combat this problem we would recommend using the cloud as a secure storage system for all of your files and data and introducing a VPN for remote employees to use in order to gain access to these files securely.

Complex Passwords

Most cyber criminals will first attempt to gain access to your information by cracking your passwords. It’s good practice to use complex passwords made up of capital letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure that they are not easy to guess. You should also not repeat the same password across all accounts as once the hacker has cracked one of your passwords, they will attempt to use it on all of your other accounts.

Consider using a business password manager that will help employees efficiently access their passwords without needing to write them down or try to remember them.

Cyber security awareness training

Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated with their attacks, meaning that it isn’t always easy to identify a suspicious email and know how to deal with it. Awareness training will test how well your employees are at recognising malicious emails.

Some cyber security awareness programs will even send out a false phishing email to your employees to see whether they are able to identify them or whether they require more training on staying safe online.

It is imperative for those that are working from home to be cyber aware and to spend extra time double checking unexpected emails to verify whether they are legitimate, before clicking or downloading anything that could potentially be malicious.

Encryption when using emails

If you work for a large corporation, it is likely that you will be sending out a lot of emails daily. These emails will likely contain private information that has to remain confidential and hidden from unauthorised users. Encryption is one way that you can provide security to your emails.

The way that Email Encryption works is through both the sender and receiver using the same encryption service, where they will be required to verify their identities before being able to communicate with one another. Once that has been established, both parties are able to send each other emails without unauthorised individuals seeing the private information being sent.

By following these four steps, you increase the security of your business for employees that are working from home. Ensuring that your employees are cyber aware, understand the risks of cyber threats and how they can be prevented, you avoid cyber security risks that could damage or financially affect your business.