According to Forbes, almost 13% of full time employees currently work from home, and another 28% have adopted the hybrid model, combining both home and in-office working. By 2025, it's estimated that almost one quarter of America's workforce will be working remotely.
Threats from malware, ransomware, and data breaches can be more prevalent in the work-from-home atmosphere, but that doesn't mean small businesses have to risk security to enjoy remote working. Although the best protection against hackers is managed IT support, there are somethings you can do to minimize the security risks to your business. Oakland Solutions LLC has culled some of the top security risks along with some practical tips to safeguard against these risks.
Top Five Tips to Minimize Security Risks of Remote Work
1. Improperly Secured Home Network Devices
Devices such as smart speakers, home security networks, and thermostats can be weak spots in your network. Make sure to change the default passwords on such devices to minimize the risk. Also, keep them updated with the latest firmware. Better yet, creating a separate "guest" network for those devices which can isolate them from your work devices and data.
Small businesses can also improve security by using an endpoint device managers like Microsoft Intune, or similar, to make it easier to manage security across many employee devices.
2. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Many of the places that remote workers choose to work in, such as cafes or co-working spaces, may not have adequate security on their networks.
To protect company data, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Turn on the VPN when connecting to public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. A VPN encrypts the internet traffic which ensures that data remains secure even on unsecured networks.
3. Ignoring Security Updates
Regularly updating devices and software is crucial for maintaining strong cybersecurity. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain unauthorized access to systems. Remote workers may neglect these updates due to busy schedules or limited awareness.
To mitigate this risk, make sure your work from home employees enable automatic updates on devices and software whenever possible. Have them regularly check for updates and Install them promptly to ensure you have the latest security patches.
4. A Lack of Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication should be enabled whenever possible. It adds an extra layer of security to passwords by requiring a second form of verification.
Employers can set up access management systems. These solutions help automate the authentication process. They can also deploy safeguards like contextual MFA.
5. Data Backup and Recovery
Remote workers generate and handle a significant amount of data. The loss or corruption of this data can be devastating. For this reason, implementing a robust data backup and recovery plan is essential.
Back up your important files to a secure cloud storage service or an external hard drive. This ensures that if a hacker compromises a device, your data remains safe and can be easily restored.
Interested in Minimizing the Risk to Your Business?
At Oakland Solutions LLC, we can help you minimize the security risks of remote work in a variety of ways, including monthly managed IT support, security audits, and remote monitoring.
Give us a call today to schedule a chat.