The government has announced a second national lockdown starting Thursday 5 November, meaning that many people will continue to be working from home for the foreseeable future. Most businesses will have resolved the logistical issues of implementing a mass move to remote working after the first national lockdown in March.
However, there are still many inherent weaknesses that stem from a remote workforce in both potential cybersecurity and legal risks. These need to be identified and addressed before they become a major issue that could lead to hackers and cyberattacks on your businesses systems.
Here are some of the biggest cybersecurity weaknesses for a remote workforce.
A large remote workforce means that electronic data that would have previously been stored on company servers may now have found its way to employees personal computers, email accounts, and mobile devices.
Also, confidential physical documents required by employees could now be kept in unsecured locations – living rooms, kitchen tables – and possibly, not disposed of in a secure manner.
There is a need to understand and control where remote employees are holding sensitive data, to make sure that businesses that implants and enforce stringent measures to protect sensitive and confidential data.
Insufficient Security Measures
Businesses need to consider making extra efforts to protect their data with additional levels of security. Multi-factor authentication will apply an extra layer of protection and security and has been adopted by many businesses whose staff are working from home during the lockdown.
Overlooking Cloud Security
At the start of the first lockdown, many businesses took advantage of cloud services to allow remote workers to access company information and files necessary for their work. However, it should not be presumed that the data in the cloud is secure.
Extra attention should be paid to the agreements with cloud service providers, in particular, their security practices so that businesses can better understand the risks involved with cloud data storage.
Access To Sensitive Data
Businesses can help protect sensitive data and reduce the chance of a security breach by ensuring there is limited access to only the data an employee needs for their work. For example, marketing teams do not need access to HR files. Reevaluate the permissions granted to check that permissions are not unnecessarily broadly granted.
Focusing Only On The Technical
There are many technical solutions to help improve cybersecurity that businesses can implement, but the role of the employee must not be forgotten.
Remote working can provide a perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to explore potential vulnerabilities in your company’s systems, and often it’s the human factor that provides the vulnerability.
To reduce the risks of a cyberattack or data breach, businesses need to ensure that all staff receive appropriate training on cybersecurity and best practice methods.
As remote working is set to be a major factor for businesses, even post-COVID, businesses need to take additional steps to mitigate the risks and safeguard their organisations for the future.
If you need IT support services for your organisation, talk to our team today.