In February 2022, it was reported that 84% of people who worked from home during the pandemic said that they planned to adopt a hybrid model of working from home and the office in the future. Remote work is on the rise, and with it comes a slew of advantages for business and staff. Working from home models can often lead to an increase in worker wellness and productivity.
However, the remote model is not without its risks. With the rise of remote work (read more here) also comes the potential for more online security risks. Cybersecurity has become even more important to businesses as workers begin to work from home and communicate through dedicated, but potentially insecure, intranet systems. Below is a list of the ways that businesses and employees can stay secure from online threats when adopting a remote work model
Ensure that your Home Wireless Network is Secure
Now that you are working from home, the importance of a secure wireless network is without question. If your wireless network is not secure, you are vulnerable to both personal and work data being stolen by hackers. It is therefore essential that you have a strong, secure wifi network when conducting remote work.
Luckily, several steps can be taken to make sure that your home network is cybersafe. For example, ensuring that you have a strong wi-fi password that is changed regularly. Default passwords are often the ones most open to exploitation by hackers. Another example would be to ensure that firmware updates are installed straight away so that there are no vulnerabilities in your system.
Finally, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for work communications. VPNs establish secure, encrypted connections to private networks and can be vital in maintaining safe and secure work communications.
For remote work, installing reputable antivirus software is an absolute must when it comes to protecting data. Antivirus software programmes work to protect your computer from viruses, trojans, and other forms of malware. They regularly scan your computer to detect potential threats, then work to eradicate them. They are not only reactive but preventative, and can secure your computer so that the threat of viruses is drastically reduced.
There is antivirus software for every operating system, so take time to research which software is best for your work platforms. Ensure that the software is regularly scanning your computer for potential threats, and you will greatly reduce your risk of cyber threats.
Physically Securing your Home Office.
While online threats are of paramount importance to businesses, it is also important for employees to stay vigilant with their physical equipment. When working from home, ensure that you have a home office that can be locked when you leave. Also consider taking your laptop out with you if you are moving to different areas of the house or leaving the house altogether.
Working from home also means your work devices are potentially being used by family members such as young children. While you may be aware of cybersecurity risks, your children and other family members may not. It is therefore important that other family members are either not able to access work devices, or that they are properly educated in the importance of password protection and other forms of cybersecurity.
Ensure that you Backup your Data.
Remote work can lead to a greater risk of data being lost, as workers are often using devices that are not backed up as regularly as those used in the office. It is therefore essential that those working from home are regularly, securely, backing up their work data using flash drives or external hard drives.
Encrypted USB flash drives are particularly advantageous to secure backups, as they require authentication before viewing the data stored on them. If you are an employer, consider investing in these drives for your workers, and ensuring that they are used regularly. This will help reduce the risk of data loss or breaches.