Partner contentCybersecurity

The COVID pandemic made working from home a convenient possibility. And it seems this transition is changing the way both employers and employees look at work. For instance, 85% of UK employees working remotely said a hybrid approach would be ideal in the future. But despite its benefits, remote working poses a significant risk – it makes businesses more vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to statistics, over 85% of UK companies were victims of digital threats in 2020-2021. 

Thus, it’s vital for organisations working remotely to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their employees. This article illustrates the most common security threats and provides practical tips to keep your business safe. 

What are the risks of remote work? 

There are many security risks organisations should be aware of: 

  • Insecure passwords. Many businesses overlook this, but changing passwords regularly is a critical security measure. Creating password restrictions is vital to ensure your data is safe.
  • Phishing emails. Scammers use smart tactics to lure individuals into revealing sensitive data, such as banking and password information. 
  • Using personal networks. Freelancers, consultants, full-time employees – they are all more vulnerable to digital threats that don’t happen as often when working from the office. 
  • Video attacks. Many individuals were victims of the Zoom-bombing that emerged during COVID-19 times. During that practice, hackers entered video calls to spread malicious content. Therefore, businesses should also take precautions to keep their video calls protected from hackers. 

Security tips to keep your business safe

Manage your passwords

Managing your passwords is one of the most critical practices you should adopt for your remote business. There are some practical ways to do this. Firstly, you should use a distinctive password for every login. Combining your pet’s name and birth year doesn’t make a strong password. And it’s even risky if you use it across every website. Creating unique passwords for every login will give you more control over the breach if one site is compromised, as the cybercriminal doesn’t get access to each of your online accounts. 

Secondly, ensure your passwords are safely stored by using a password manager. It will undoubtedly be pretty challenging to remember all the passwords. By using a password manager, you have to memorise only the one password that gives you access to the rest that you safely stored within the password manager. Also, consider using the single sign-on authentication method. This option allows you to sign in once through a secure portal that gives you access to various websites and apps. The idea is that you don’t have to sign in to every one of them separately.  

The things you should not do are as important as what you should do. Some of the password management don’ts are:

  • Sharing passwords throughout the team organisation;
  • Storing passwords in the internet browser; 
  • Using a similar password for multiple services and websites.

Ensure your wi-fi connection is secure

You need strong encryption for your Wi-fi network to keep your business safe from unwanted eyes. If your network isn’t secure, your devices aren’t either, making it easier for hackers to access your data. 

In some instances, you might not be able to connect to your secure Wi-fi network. For example, when travelling for work, you’ll most likely have to access public Wi-fi networks in hotels, airports, etc. In such a case, it’s vital to use a VPN to keep your data safe. 

When possible, you can use your mobile network rather than Wi-fi. You should by no means contact influential businesses online while using public Wi-fi – you can do it only if you have a VPN connection. 

Backup your data regularly

Many businesses overlook this step. However, having a backup solution is crucial, so ensure you have a backup system in place. Besides backing up your data regularly, you should also monitor it. 

A recovery plan is also essential in case of a data breach, as it will help you reduce the downtime of your business operations. 

Use multi-factor authentication 

The multi factor-authentication method provides an extra layer of security, as the odds of your data being stolen are low. There are many ways cybercriminals can access sensitive data through phishing. Email accounts are particularly vulnerable to this form of attack, as criminals can send urgent requests to trusting individuals and ask them to reveal personal information. 

Multi-factor authentication increases protection against hackers. Even if they find out your password, the information is irrelevant because the two-step verification asks for additional information to access the data. That way, phishing efforts become useless. Therefore, businesses should use MFA to improve data security

Provide cybersecurity training for your employees

Technology is ever-changing, meaning that cyber security also improves its practices throughout time. Ensure your employees are up-to-date with the best security measures by providing training and teaching them what to look for. 

You should include the following aspects:

  • Clicking on unfamiliar links in emails;
  • Secure storage of customers’ data and the organisation’s responsibility to keep the information safe;
  • The threats you can be exposed to when using a USB stick as it can add viruses into computer systems;
  • Using mobile devices and the steps to take if they are stolen or lost.

Ensure your online banking is safe

Cybercriminals can use different tactics to get access to your banking details. They can target you through email, phone, and even social media ads. For instance, they might want to trick you into giving bank details by asking you to make a donation or a large purchase. You should always avoid giving bank details online or transferring money to unsolicited vendors if you aren’t sure of their identity. 

It’s vital to take security measures to ensure you handle funds safely. One essential thing you can do is use only accredited services and software for the operations. You can also increase your business security by using stronger passwords and including memorable information.