Over the past year, more and more people have been working from home. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only just under 30% of American employees were working from home or able to work from home before the pandemic – a number that has significantly risen since then with workplaces taking increasing measures to stop the spread of the virus. Today, as the majority of employees are left with little choice but to work from home, companies are noticing various complications and risks that come hand in hand with remote working. Some of the most common cyber risks for remote workers are:
Home Wi-Fi Security Problems
Unlike working in an office environment where IT managers are on hand to control the security of internet networks, the majority of employees who are working remotely are now using home Wi-Fi networks that typically have much weaker protocols compared to those in the office. As a result, hackers have easier access to the network’s traffic and the company’s data. As a result, it is worth taking steps to provide employees with stronger security protocols at home or require all employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt their online activity. Managed IT services experienced with remote working can help you minimize this risk.
Passwords can be incredibly easy for hackers to crack if they are quite simple, and hackers can gain unauthorized access to multiple accounts very easily if the same password is used across several platforms. Sadly, while most people today know of the importance of setting a strong and unique password for their online accounts, many are simply not aware of just how easy guessing their own passwords might be. It’s important to ensure that all employees use a strong password manager tool to create unique passwords for their work accounts that would be incredibly difficult for cybercriminals to guess. Employees must not use this password for any other work-related or non-work-related accounts.
Social Engineering and Phishing Scams
There has been a distinctive rise in the number of phishing attacks and other social engineering attack attempts on both businesses and individuals since the COVID-19 crisis has begun. Hackers have been reported to attempt to get sensitive information from individuals by posing as the government claiming to be asking questions about COVID-19 stimulus checks or employment-related concerns. However, with more people than ever before now working from home, individuals have not been the only target of this type of attack. Now that it is harder for employees to double-check with other people in the office that their email or message has come from a credible source, hackers have attempted to access sensitive company information by sending messages that appear to be from upper management, for example. It is important to ensure that all employees are aware of these scams and that they are trained on how to avoid them. Set up steps that employees can follow to verify that any emails requesting information of any kind are from the source they appear to be from.
With working from home now becoming the new normal, these cybercrime threats require more attention than ever before.