Cybersecurity: More Important than Ever
As more companies move to a remote workforce, the issue of cybersecurity has become a top priority. A recent Cisco survey, Future of Secure Remote Work Report, shared that the number of remote workers has increased from 19 percent pre-pandemic to 62 percent in 2021 in North America. Tech companies are paving the way for keeping the majority of the workforce remote even once offices reopen. Most notably, Twitter and Facebook announced that employees would stay remote for 2021, with most continuing to work remotely indefinitely. As the workforce expands to more physical locations, so must the security measures to protect the workers and company data.
For many, this will require investing significantly more dollars into IT systems and infrastructure. For others, it may be as simple as updating current practices.
Depending on the type of business, companies should consider enhancing security at the workers' end and look at best practices for VPN, Phishing emails and personal devices.
Based on a survey conducted by Keeper Security, 60 percent of the 2,200 respondents reported an increase in cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic. Most were phishing and social engineering breaches, followed closely by credential theft, account takeover and malware. In addition, most reported the attacks breached their standard security practices and raised questions about how well protected their remote employees were in their homes or remote offices.
While some tech companies offer free advice and courses on improving security measures for companies and their remote staff, ultimately, it boils down to companies examining the worker's environment and enhancing their security to protect company data.
To help you get started, take a look at these recommendations:
- Remote workers using their own devices should enable security features like a unique PIN, facial recognition or fingerprint login.
- Install security software on remote workers' devices, so it is consistent company-wide.
- Require remote workers to keep devices updated and be running current OS versions.
- Require remote workers to make periodic password changes and require minimum password lengths and combinations of characters, letters and numbers.
- Educate employees on how to spot suspicious or unusual activity on their devices and immediately report it to the IT department.