Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many organizations and teams have made the abrupt shift to working remotely. With more than 80% of workers shifting to remote work, many organizations and employees did not have prior experience with remote work technology and processes. IT professionals work hard to secure an organization, their endpoints, and end-users by working through a cybersecurity strategy. An integral part of a cybersecurity strategy is employee training on cybersecurity practices and technology. Without this training or an effective cybersecurity strategy in place, organizations are vulnerable to potential cyberattacks. Now, the digital shift reminds us how important a cybersecurity strategy is as remote work comes with cybersecurity threats.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you, an IT professional can simplify your cybersecurity strategy to address common security challenges for remote work.
4 Common Security Challenges for IT Professionals
IT Professionals not only have to secure organizations locally but also ensure that remote teams are safe from cybersecurity threats. Common security challenges facing IT Professionals with remote work include:
Phishing – Phishing is the act of tricking a user into disclosing confidential information through malicious links or attachments. Phishing can take on many forms, with email being the most common medium. A survey from F5 labs says that there is a 5% increase in phishing incidents due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to learn about seven red flags to identify a phishing scam.
Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access. Its attack is serious even for a single device. It can endanger the entire business if it is spread to the entire network. It is often spread when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge
Malware– Malware is software that is designed to interfere with, damage, or gains unauthorized access to a computer system. It is one of the biggest online threats facing remote workforces today. Typically, malware is installed on a computer when a user clicks on a link, downloads a malicious attachment, or opens a rogue software program. Once installed, attackers can use the malware to spy on your online activities, steal personal and financial information or use your device to hack other systems.
Hacking – Hacking is when someone gains unauthorized access to your device(s) and is a common risk for devices that are not updated. With software and operating system updates becoming frequently available it can be difficult to keep up with the updates. However, failing to update leaves your devices and your network vulnerable to hacking. Most smart devices give push notifications and reminders when it’s time to update, and some will also allow you to schedule automatic updates.
5 Tips for Securing Your Remote Workforce
While remote work offers organizations many benefits, there are also many security risks associated with it if not accounted for in your cybersecurity strategy. The following are five tips that can be integrated with your strategy to secure your remote workforce:
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network): Virtual Private Network (VPN) hides a user’s IP address and location. VPN’s work is to improve security and protect systems from targeted cyber-attacks. This virtual internet tunnel encrypts all your internet traffic to ensure that any data shared with your company’s internal networks and technologies are safe from attackers.
Create strong passwords– Do you have strong and unique passwords? Creating strong passwords and changing them regularly makes for good password hygiene. While it can be difficult to remember every password you have, there are solutions such as password managers that can generate strong passwords and store them securely.
Set up MFA – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds another layer of security to your accounts by Verifying your identity using a second factor that prevents anyone but you from logging in to your phone or another mobile device, even if they know your password.
Use strong Anti-virus software – Anti-Virus is your best friend. Antivirus is designed to find viruses and malware such as Ransomware. It scans your files and incoming email for viruses that can destroy or slow down your data or crash your device and then deletes it. It is important to Install Updates regularly. It is the best practice to set up for schedule automatic updates.
Only Use Secured Networks – Is your Wi-Fi secure? Do you use public Wi-Fi to work remotely? Having a secured Wi-Fi connection is a critical component in ensuring that your information is kept secure. Using an unsecured connection such as public Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop can leave your network open to cyber-attacks. For bonus tips on how to keep your network devices secure, check out this blog post.
Demystifying It Security for It Professionals
Managing your security does not have to be complex to be effective. Join AlphaKOR and Cisco, along with other IT Professionals, on Thursday, March 25th for a FREE 1-hour webinar. We will discuss how to simplify and streamline your existing security practices.
Demystifying IT Security for IT Professionals is where you, an IT Professional, can learn more about tackling common IT security issues and challenges with simple solutions. This event is designed to empower you with simple tools and strategies to simplify your security practices.
Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Reserve your free spot now by visiting our event page.
What are common cybersecurity issues you or your team face working remotely? Let us know in the comment section.