9 Security Tips for Remote Working
Advances in technology have made it trivial to perform most of our regular tasks from the comfort of our sofa. Many people already work full-time from their own homes or the local coffee shop. That said, this luxury has certain drawbacks. Online security threats are omnipresent. Not only is personal privacy at risk, but working from home can also lead to a breach in corporate security.
Online threats to remote workers
There are several common security threats that remote workers should be aware of:
Unsecured wifi networks: most people will work from home where they can secure their wifi. However, some people may need to use unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, which are the preferred place for malicious parties to spy on Internet traffic and collect confidential information.
Use of personal devices and networks: Employees who do not have company-issued mobile devices will be forced to use personal devices and home networks for work tasks. These often lack the built-in measures that make corporate networks secure, such as antivirus software, custom firewalls and automatic online backup tools. The lack of these additional layers of security increases the risk of malware getting onto devices, leading to leaks of both personal and work-related information.
Scams targeting remote workers: There has been an increase in malicious campaigns specifically targeting remote workers. Scammers are becoming skilled at faking business email or phone communications. We will undoubtedly see an increase in the prevalence of remote worker scams.
Fortunately, with the right knowledge and tools, many of these threats can be mitigated. Günther Lemmens
Measures against cybersecurity threats
Even though most of the prevention actions are taken by your employees at home, you as an organisation have a role to play. To prevent cybercrime from penetrating home networks, you need to continuously inform and guide your employees on what they need to do to protect their context from cyber threats. Here are nine different actions you should suggest to your employees.
Use strong passwords
All accounts need strong passwords that combine upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. qQ32W85!&HC4). This measure seems hyper obvious, although many people tend to use relatively simple passwords. Also, create a different password per account. Thus, if one password is compromised, other accounts remain safe.
Remembering strong and unique passwords is impossible for most people. Yet you also want to prevent that people write down passwords on a piece of paper or a txt file. Therefore, recommend a password manager to your employees to store these passwords safely. LastPass or 1Password are popular cross-platform password managers, although many other alternatives exist. The important thing is to have one.
Enforce two-factor authentication
Advise employees to use two-factor authentication whenever possible. It adds an additional hard-to-hack second step in the authentication process. This extra step can be a text message confirmation, a security application such as Microsoft Authenticator or ItsMe, an ID card, a biometric method (facial recognition or fingerprint) or a USB key.