Since the pandemic, the world has had to adapt in more ways than one especially when it comes to technology and working outside the ‘normal’ office environment. It is crucial for businesses to stay on top of their cyber security procedures and protocols to limit data breaches and vulnerabilities that could put them at risk of cyber attacks.
In a survey ran by Mimecast, 70% of respondents anticipated a disruption to their business as a result of an online attack – particularly by ransomware. This emphasises the importance of remote workers and businesses ensuring that they have adequate training and procedures in place to have the ability to recognise these types of cyber attacks and know how to handle them.
The pandemic has opened various opportunities for cyber criminals to prey on individuals with a lack of training surrounding cyber security that has enabled them to compromise and exploit confidential data. In 2021, 61% of businesses reported that they have been a victim of a ransomware attack. Ransomware attacks only continue to be on the rise which is why it is so important for businesses to start turning their attention to their cyber security.
Remote businesses are more at risk of cyber attacks
In the last few years, we have seen more and more businesses embrace remote and hybrid ways of working. However, many remote workers and businesses are still unaware of the potential cyber security risks that they could potentially have to face, and ways to avoid them.
The reason why remote workers are more at risk of cyber security breaches is due to the lack of secure networks and connections. In the office, you are likely using a secure network that has firewalls and antivirus software present to eliminate these cyber threats. These features are what make it difficult for malware and cyber criminals to gain access to your devices.
How to increase cyber security when working remotely?
There are two main reasons why people are being hacked, there are flaws present in the software or it is down to general human error. In most cases, there is little that you can do to prevent coding vulnerabilities but what you can do is adapt better cyber security practices to keep yourself and your data protected.
To help reduce the risk of cyber security threats when working remotely, here’s what you need to do:
Use multi-factor authentication where possible
This method requires a secondary piece of information in order for your account or data to be accessed.
Use strong passwords
Passwords that use capital letters, numbers and symbols are much more difficult to crack or guess. You should also ensure that you use a different password for all of your accounts because if one becomes compromised it makes it easy for the hacker to gain access to everything else with that same password.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) establishes a secure and private connection when using a public network. This is a useful service, particularly when using a home network that quite often isn’t the most secure.
Have knowledge and training about phishing scams
Phishing is a popular scam that aims to trick users into clicking on an infected link or downloading an attachment. It’s really important for employees to have training in recognising these types of scams.
Perform regular updates
Failing to regularly update your devices and software can lead to vulnerabilities which cyber criminals look for to gain unauthorised access.
Use an antivirus software
Antivirus software works by detecting and preventing malicious software from causing damage to your device.
Become Cyber Essentials certified
Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme aiming to help businesses protect themselves against the most basic types of cyber threats.
The reliance on technology continues to increase, especially with more businesses adapting to a new way of working. Now businesses need to be more vigilant and unmediated to ensure that they maintain and adapt the best security practices to limit cyber threats on their IT.