COVID-19 has provoked major changes to how we work. Many of these changes will outlast the pandemic, especially those related to a newly hybrid workforce.
The shift to work from anywhere has presented businesses with a growing list of cyber security challenges that threaten to cause long-lasting issues if left unmanaged.
The Security Challenges of Working from Anywhere
The upsurge in remote working has caused existing security threats to be amplified. In the office, employees are working behind layers of security controls. While not perfect, teams are typically better protected against common security risks. However, when employees leave the office and work from new locations, unique cyber security challenges arise.
Some of these challenges include:
- Unmanaged mobiles, laptops, and other devices
- Providing secure access to remote working tools and data
- Insecure home Wi-Fi networks and routers
- Ensuring adequate cyber awareness and training
How can businesses enhance their remote working setup to ensure it’s secure?
Protect Employee Devices
Employees that use personal devices for work can easily introduce unsecured software, operating systems, or applications to their company network. And as personal devices are often not as secure as their corporate counterparts, it’s easier for hackers to gain access or for data to be lost in an accidental breach. This is exacerbated by employees now working from anywhere, as the scope for cybersecurity is wider than ever before.
To mitigate this, businesses should look to expand their perimeter of protection with a mobile device management (MDM) solution. An MDM can be easily rolled out across a fleet of devices, securing applications, enforcing passwords, and ensuring any malicious activity is quickly dealt with. This is a type of security software extends data governance outwards from your ‘centre’ so your employees are protected wherever they choose to work.
As the popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes continues to grow, an MDM solution will become a necessity for businesses looking to protect their business data as employees use corporate applications on personal devices.
Keep a Close Eye on Personal Networks
Just like personal devices such as mobiles and laptops are more susceptible to cybersecurity risks, home Wi-Fi networks are much less secure than in-office equivalents. This is usually due to multiple people using the same network, lack of encryption, and home networks being publicly visible.
How to secure personal networks:
- Install the latest firmware updates
- Use a VPN at all times
- Backup data to the cloud at regular intervals
You should also look to improve visibility of your network. One way to do this is by enlisting the help of a managed services provider. They'll be able to offer around the clock monitoring and reporting on all your endpoints, ensuring continued protection against any potential threats.
An expert team will detect and diagnose any issues, and escalate them where necessary. This frees up the burden of complex network monitoring from your internal IT teams and ensures your employees can work from anywhere with confidence.
Educate Employees on the Risks
Even with software-enabled security in place, employees working from anywhere must be educated on the cybersecurity risks of remote working, to ensure they maintain information and device security. Without the proper guidelines, your teams may inadvertently cause breaches or download harmful software that puts your network at risk.
Remote working is here to stay, so it's worth updating your contingency plans with new guidance, advice, and support to prepare your workforce. As part of your contingency plan, educate employees on phishing emails, avoiding public Wi-Fi, protecting sensitive data, and staying vigilant against suspicious activity.
Armed with even the most fundamental of security advice, teams will be better equipped to deal with potential threats if, and when they occur.
Overcome the Hurdles of Work From Anywhere
Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges that businesses will have to overcome to continue working from anywhere.
It's not enough to simply rely on old security processes and software. To be successful, organisations will need to ensure their existing technology can stay on top of the growing security demands of a remote workforce. With the right cyber security, your teams can embrace remote working while remaining secure against any potential threats.
To learn more about addressing the new IT challenges of the work from anywhere era, check out our webinar and Q&A. In our webinar, our expert panelist explore the technology demands of a newly remote workforce and provide ways to ensure that your business can keep up. You can watch the webinar in full here.