The corporate world will never be the same again after the pandemic. While the coronavirus persists and the new normal is taking over, more and more companies are embracing the prospect of long-term remote work. After all, the benefits are immense, especially in financial terms. You’ve cut overhead and operations costs, and your employees enjoy being more in control of their time.
Successfully adapting and converting your workspace online, however, doesn’t mean you’re safe from any threat. Cybercriminals are taking this opportunity to hack into companies and steal sensitive information through remote workers. This makes it essential now more than ever to redirect your funds to expenses that will ensure you won’t be the next target.
Not Broadening Your IT Resources
Your choice of IT resources can make or break your business when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s quite normal to have many small businesses nowadays operate with the bare minimum IT assistance possible. If that set-up worked in an office, however, it certainly won’t when all your employees are scattered across the state.
The first step is to get the backbone of your IT fixed and strengthened through a qualified professional and a reputable vendor. Your in-house IT expert should have a deep understanding of your immediate and long-term needs, as well as a clear picture of your work culture. This will enable this person or this team to identify risks and help you create a protocol that will address them.
Vendors such as reliable cybersecurity service companies will be the ones to create your defenses and even minimize the risks that come with human error. You’ll especially need one that will help you deal with common security mistakes made by your employees. After all, their actions are some of the most common hazards that come with remote work.
Lastly, keep yourself legally secure by having a counsel review your agreement to make sure that the appropriate security and liability clauses are included.
Overlooking the Management of Personal Devices
Speaking of human error, cybercriminals give your remote workers plenty of opportunities to fall victim to phishing and other tactics that will give them access to sensitive company information. The increasing use of personal devices for work purposes further amplifies this risk. Don’t forget that home internet deprives you of a firm grasp of your internal BYOD security policy, too.
Using a VPN is one of the quickest and most reliable means of establishing a clear line of defense between your remote workers and cybercriminals. Using one will encrypt all the data that goes in and out of your employees’ devices, discourages geographical tracking, and masks IP addresses.
You’ll also want to make sure that your employees aren’t utilizing unsecured pathways to distribute confidential files and data. Give them access to secure cloud storage for this purpose and transfer to a virtual workspace where you can safely communicate and track tasks. Not all VPNs and workspaces are equal, so make sure to do your research and find the ones that cater best to your needs.
Failing to Continuously Monitor
Even with these security measures in place, your company is only as safe as your ability to get your team to cooperate. How do you make sure that they’re cooperating? Continuously monitor them.
Throughout your remote work season, you need to know exactly when they login to your portal or database and what they do. Are they downloading an unusual amount of information? Are they making drastic changes to certain documents by either deleting, renaming, or converting them? There are many reasons why this can happen, some of them being that a cybercriminal is stealing your information or your employee is making unauthorized copies either for work or personal use.
Find a means to legally monitor their activities in your portals and be on the lookout for any abnormal behavior. It’s only through actively checking on them and taking appropriate action will you prevent the worse from happening.
Remote work has its advantages and disadvantages, just like all kinds of work set-ups. The good thing about it is that you’re never lacking in resources to meet these disadvantages head-on and minimize their impact. The sooner you address these three issues, the easier it will be to keep your business secure while the pandemic persists.