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What Are The Cybersecurity Issues With Remote Work
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And How To Keep Your Teams Safe

Remote work has become a highly popular and common practice around the world. According to the latest International Workplace Group report, 50% of employees globally are now working outside of their main office headquarters for at least 2.5 days per week. 80% of the same survey respondents indicated that out of two similar employment offers, they would decline the one that doesn’t offer the remote work possibility. What’s more, 75% of people consider flexible working to be the new normal. So it’s clear that remote work is here to stay.

However, while this practice increases flexibility, improves productivity and enhances work-life balance, there’s a downside to it. The problem here is that there are real cybersecurity issues with remote work that put your company’s sensitive data at risk.

Cybersecurity and Remote Work Statistics

In a recent study, OpenVPN reported that 90% of IT professionals believe remote workers are not secure. At the same time, over 70% think remote staff poses greater risk than onsite employees. So, the good news is that experts are actually acknowledging the security risks of remote work and this is the first step towards addressing the issue.

The Cybersecurity Issues with Remote Work

You may have a fully remote workforce, people who work from home from time to time, or employees who frequently go on business trips. And without a doubt, it’s more difficult to take care of their security than it is to manage your on-site endpoints.

Here are three bad habits related to remote work that your remote workers may be making that endanger your organization:

1. Accessing sensitive data through unsafe Wi-Fi networks

Your employees’ could be connecting to their home wireless network or accessing their corporate accounts using unsecured public Wi-Fi. This way, malicious actors nearby can easily spy on their connection and harvest confidential information. For instance, data sent in an unencrypted form in plain text might be intercepted and stolen by cybercriminals. For this reason, your employees should not be allowed to access any unknown Wi-Fi networks unless they are using a VPN connection.

2. Using personal devices for work

46% of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home, which is a worrying practice.

At the same time, a trend of allowing employees to use their personal devices at work, commonly referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD policy, has appeared.

You need to be fully aware of the issues involved by your employees using their personal devices for work-related matters. For instance, they may suddenly leave the company and hold on to the confidential information that has been stored on their device during their employment and you will not get the chance to erase it.

What’s more, they may not be keeping their software up-to-date, which opens up security holes in your environment. We keep stressing the importance of applying software patches in a timely manner and for a good reason.

Consequently, we would advise against letting your employees use their personal devices at work since it would be difficult for you to control what happens on their endpoints.

3. Ignoring basic physical security practices in public places

Even if cybersecurity is our focus, we can’t completely leave physical security behind when it comes to your company’s sensitive information. For example, there are employees who may be talking loudly on the phone while working in public places, expose their laptop’s screen for the entire crowd inside a café to see or even leave their devices unattended.

Teach your employees even the most basic security measures, even if they may seem like common sense at first glance. A friendly reminder for them not to expose the data of your business will always be of great benefit.
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