The mechanics of remote work are not as black and white as most people realise. Of course, amidst the pandemic crisis, many companies have undertaken a significant transformation and embraced increased working-from-home (WFH). While there are positives associated with this, such as working hours flexibility, reduced stress levels and improved work-life balance, it has also led to the creation of a wave of new cybersecurity threats.
Analysis shows that remote staff are at an even higher risk than employees working from the office. As a result of unmonitored (and often less secure) home networks, the practice of using personal, non-managed devices for accessing business resources, and the lack of physical security that one could normally expect in an office building, cybercriminals now have an even larger attack surface that they can utilise when attempting to compromise an organisation.
Although there is a constant movement around the ongoing cyber threats, ransomware and phishing campaigns have continued to be the predominant risks for organizations. With increased attack surfaces and the limited oversight that corporations have over their remote workers, it is increasingly difficult for organisations to protect themselves.
At the start of the global workforce shift, a number of remote employees were less familiar with the concept of phishing campaigns leading to the compromise of entire corporations. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there continue to be employees with a high propensity when it comes to interacting with phishing emails.
Contrary to common perception, cybersecurity improvements do not necessarily hinder productivity standards. Instead, some solutions can be an almost transparent step in an otherwise simple process. For example, Single Sign-On authentication combined with Two-Factor authentication can serve a critical role for an organisation’s security by creating a strong layer of protection and ensuring thorough access control, all without intruding into the usability.
With that in mind, it is crucial to understand for organisations that cyber threats are an ongoing challenge that requires constant attention, with no one-time solution or a piece of software that fits all situations.
Awareness & Training
It may seem obvious, but more companies need to prioritise workshops and training sessions as it continues to be the best way to address cybersecurity risks and ensure employees working from home understand the cause-and-effect of various attacks.
Training employees to identify a phishing email is crucial. Fortunately, in 2021 more and more organisations are investing in integrated and robust security solutions. These often specialise in detection, prevention, and even mitigation of ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.
As cybercrime continues to evolve, it is pertinent for organisations and their staff to establish a culture of understanding and respecting fundamental cybersecurity issues. For instance, employees should be able to run basic security health checks on their personal devices and it should become a new standard for companies that intend to continue the WFH model.
There are more than enough software solutions, tools, and strategies available for companies to improve their security posture and help them adapt. Setting basic security parameters and goals is the right step for organisations to improve their security status against common cybersecurity threats.