How to neutralize the biggest remote working cybersecurity threats

How to neutralize the biggest remote working cybersecurity threats

COVID-19 prompted a rapid global transition to remote working. While allowing staff to work from home has been key for maintaining business continuity, it has also introduced a range of security challenges by dramatically expanding attack surfaces, magnifying existing vulnerabilities and exposing companies to new threats.

Managing these risks requires serious thought and time investment – luxuries that COVID-19 hasn’t afforded. For some businesses, the switch to remote working came almost overnight, giving them little time to prepare in the way of policies, training and security solutions. Some 85 percent of CISOs admitted to sacrificing security to enable remote work, according to a Netwrix report.

As an all-remote cybersecurity company, we find ourselves in a unique position to help organizations mitigate the risks associated with remote working. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the biggest cybersecurity threats facing remote businesses and discuss best practices for securing the company network and reducing the risk of compromise.

Remote working cybersecurity threats

Newly expanded IT infrastructures, abrupt changes to work processes and softening of security policies to accommodate teleworkers have left remote companies uniquely vulnerable to a variety of cyber threats.

1. Malware

Almost 1 in 4 companies paid unexpected expenses to address a malware attack or cybersecurity breach following shelter-in-place orders, according to a Malwarebytes report. Remote companies may be more exposed to malware due to:

2. Phishing

Phishing uses social engineering tactics to coerce users into disclosing company information or clicking on a malicious attachment or URL. Remote workers may be particularly susceptible to phishing because of:

3. Data breaches

A data breach can result in significant disruption, revenue loss and reputational damage. With workers operating outside the protective bubble of the corporate network, remote companies may be at greater risk of a data breach due to:

4. Unauthorized network access

Attackers often focus on vulnerable appliances and remote access protocols to gain unauthorized access to internal networks. Remote companies may be at greater risk due to:

Security best practices for remote companies

The following best practices can help companies protect remote endpoints, secure company data and reduce the risk of network compromise.

Conclusion

The pandemic has shaped the way we work – and the way we look at security. While the abrupt transition to remote working may have required some corners to be cut in the name of efficiency, there has been ample time for organizations to revisit and strengthen hastily implemented systems.

Addressing the security vulnerabilities described in this article will enable organizations to reduce the risk of compromise and maintain a secure workforce, regardless of where employees are physically located.

 

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Jareth

Jareth

Writer. A picture is worth a thousand words but unfortunately I can't draw. The world of IT security has always fascinated me and I love playing a small role in helping the good guys combat malware.

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