Have You Considered the Cybersecurity Risks of Working From Home?
Having employees working from home during this pandemic is a choice many businesses have made in order to maintain health and safety measures while keeping things running as normally as possible. For many, this is their first venture into working from home and they are probably juggling many other essential household tasks, like childcare. Let’s face it — while maintaining a steady job and income are essential to all, there are many distractions out there in this time of confusion as the world faces the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
While many have their guards up when it comes to practicing social distancing and staying healthy, guards are lower than usual when it comes to staying on top of cybersecurity protocol. Few companies have cybersecurity policies in place for a situation in which all employees must work from home. Here’s a list of the top cybersecurity concerns that should come with having a remote team right now:
Phishing Attempts and Scams
There’s nothing like a pandemic to get people panicked and desperate for solutions to the problems that come with it. Phishing attacks now prey on virus-related fears and will appear to come from a trusted source or authority figure, such as government agencies, health insurance providers, employers, and those pretending to offer testing services or economic relief. They can come in the form of an email, text or phone call and will try to get you to reveal sensitive personal or business information. The Federal Trade Commission has more detailed information on specific phishing attempts and scams. Make sure employees are trained to look out for these scams by checking the email address of the sender and never clicking on direct links. We have some more tips on phishing here and here.
Employees who rushed to work from home back in March have probably been using their own unsecured home network since then. What that means is that hackers can easily take a look at what they’re working on, including sensitive client information and data! With time, they can quietly steal and hold that data hostage! VPNs (virtual private networks) are a great solution to this issue. Your entire team can work remotely off of the same, secure network!
Sharing Devices at Home
Many households have limited access to work-friendly devices in the home. Now that all family members, young and old, are now fighting for their time on the device to video conference friends and family in addition to completing work for school and jobs, you know that the information on this device is less secure than usual from misuse, hardware damage, and accidental malware installation. The most useful thing an employer can provide their employees at this time (if they haven’t already) is a device for work purposes only. It’ll keep them focused and all data will be consolidated and secured on a company-owned device and network.
Back it all Up!
None of the above threats can be properly protected against without consistent, reliable backups. Restoring data files that have been lost to malicious hackers, phishing attempts, and a tumble off of the kitchen counter is the best way to ensure things can keep running smoothly after a cybersecurity incident.
If you have specific concerns regarding any of the information above, another cybersecurity concern, or want to set up a secure remote workspace for their employees, but are hesitant to reach out to a cybersecurity expert (we know it can be intimidating), just know we want to help! We are dedicated to small businesses and their success — our team would love to chat and answer any and all questions that you have for us. Reach out to our friendly team at +1 (888) 601-0401 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.