Cybersecurity Threats Specific to a Remote Workforce

While a remote workforce may come with many benefits, such as keeping everyone on your teams connected at all times and regardless of location, it isn’t without its downsides. One potential issue you may see with remote systems is the increased risk of cybersecurity threats.

Remote workers may not have the same level of security that in-house teams have, making it important to know what the potential risks are and how to mitigate them. Here we’ll take a look at some of the biggest threats affecting remote workforces and how you can avoid them.

Unsecured Corporate Networks

In some cases, remote workforces may be vulnerable to certain attacks on unsecured corporate networks, which many businesses and workers rely on for communication and data sharing. Without the proper security measures in place, these networks are susceptible to different types of attacks.

To improve the security of your corporate networks, you should ensure all software is up to date, strengthen and protect your network passwords, and secure all emails.

Hardware Vulnerabilities

Sometimes the hardware itself might be vulnerable to various attacks. This would normally involve remote workers with unsecured devices making themselves vulnerable to certain hardware attacks. For example, they may fail to create a passcode for their phones or download malicious software to their laptops and other devices, allowing hackers and others to access data or take control of these devices.

Remote workforces can take steps to protect their devices, including setting up effective and secure logins and storing devices in safe locations when not in use. You could also take a cue from bigger tech brands and use a physical security key, which is a device such as a flash drive that you must physically insert into your device to unlock it.

Unsecure Wi-Fi Connections

Of course, when remote workers are away from your office and secure in-house network, there’s always the chance your employees may use an unsecure public or even private network. One of the advantages of remote work for employees is the ability to work everywhere, whether commuting to and from the office or in another public location.

The main issue with this flexibility is the use of unsecure Wi-Fi networks that could make individuals susceptible to attacks in public spaces. The main reason for this vulnerability is that public Wi-Fi connections don’t typically have data encryption measures in place, allowing intruders to hack into the network and compromise traffic and data.

The best way to avoid this issue when working through a public Wi-Fi connection is to use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing the connection. A VPN will funnel your traffic through a secure network to ensure your information is safe and secure. Better yet, it may be best to have policies in place restricting the use of public Wi-Fi connections while allowing employees to work from home or through networks that are proven to be secure.

Ransomware and Phishing Schemes

There are many types of phishing schemes out there that can serve different purposes. For example, employees may receive spoof emails from what look like legitimate senders. Employees may then click on links within these emails and enter login information when prompted to do so, not knowing that a third party is collecting these credentials for malicious use. This could give cybercriminals access control and enable them to steal valuable data. They may also attempt to use employees’ emails to phish other contacts while posing as the employees.

In some cases, cybercriminals may engage in phishing schemes for the purpose of installing ransomware. This would normally involve the criminal posing as an employee or executive for a company and reaching out to another valid employee in an attempt to get information such as login credentials and access to key data. The criminal could then restrict access to sensitive data and threaten to delete it unless the company pays the criminal, typically through untraceable cryptocurrency.

Instructing employees about these risks and identifying and mitigating phishing attempts will help minimize system vulnerabilities.

Take the Right Approach to Eliminate the Cybersecurity Threats Specific to a Remote Workforce

With the right security measures and policies in place for remote workforces, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of potential threats from compromising your company’s and employees’ data and, subsequently, your business. The key is to use the right tools and work with experienced IT professionals to help you secure your workforce.

FAQs About Cybersecurity Threats

At this time, cybersecurity threats continue to increase all over the world. Many of these involve businesses, with malicious parties attempting to gain access to sensitive information and systems, but cybersecurity threats also affect private citizens.

The main reason for the increase in cybersecurity threats is the continuing advancement of technology and the security compromises that come with new developments. As new technology comes onto the scene, new types of threats will arise until security measures are in place for each piece of technology. However, over time, organizations will become increasingly familiar with these threats and work to implement sufficient security measures that minimize these threats, enabling security systems to adapt to new threats.

There are several main issues that are preventing businesses and individuals from successfully improving their cybersecurity measures. According to recent data, the following are the top five problems that are hindering people’s ability to bolster their security:

  • Insufficient funding — One of the biggest roadblocks to cybersecurity is insufficient funding in place, as companies don’t often have the ability to invest in the right measures. However, the right managed IT service provider can help scale services based on budgetary constraints while maintaining sufficient security.
  • Unavailability of IT professionals to help — Another issue is the lack of security professionals who can help protect systems, but outsourcing services to a dedicated team can resolve this issue.
  • Inadequate documentation of processes — All processes must have adequate documentation to guide employees on the appropriate security measures and identify any potential vulnerabilities.
  • Threats becoming more sophisticated — Growing technology has led to more complex threats that companies are having a hard time combating.
  • Poor visibility and a lack of influence within organizations — Companies should have ample visibility into their operations and systems, and professionals within them should be able to push for more security measures that everyone is willing to adopt in the workplace.

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