For many companies and employees, remote work is not a foreign concept. Even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, over 7 million US workers were working from home. Of course, the number has risen exponentially over the past few months.
With all but essential services temporarily closed, every company with enough resources went online and established remote teams. Remote work is challenging enough as it is to those who have never done it before. In addition to dealing with the new work rhythm, you and your colleagues become more vulnerable to a variety of cyber-attacks.
Why Cybersecurity Is Important While Working from Home
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With more and more companies relying on online resources to complete daily tasks, there are higher risks of data breaches or other hacking incidents. Unfortunately, very few businesses prioritize cybersecurity, even when the consequences of hacks can be costly and challenging to resolve fully.
The undeniable fact is that data breaches are widespread, and companies are among the preferred targets. On average, a data breach can cost a company 3.92 million dollars, often even more. But it is not just money going down the drain in situations like these.
After a data breach, a company’s reputation suffers a severe blow. Over 85% of consumers claim that they will avoid a business that has dealt with cybersecurity issues due to their insufficient protection tactics. Many of them would file lawsuits if their data got stolen or turn to a company’s competitors for a more stable and secure service.
It is challenging to rebuild your reputation as a reliable company after such cyber incidents. So, it is best to be proactive and take the necessary measures to protect your company and assets in advance. The available protection is especially required now as millions of people choose to work remotely.
Simple Strategies to Enhance Security
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It is essential to understand that remote teams are not exposing companies to more risks on purpose. Data breaches and hacks often occur due to human error, inexperience, and poor cybersecurity practices. If you want to prevent attacks and invasions of your company’s privacy, there are a few simple things that you and your remote team can do to stay protected.
Choose an Online Collaboration Tool with a Focus on Security
To continue working as normally as possible, most companies have invested in online collaboration tools. It is of the utmost importance to choose a tool that offers top-of-the-line security measures.
For example, Zoom is currently one of the most popular tools for video conferences. Even though the company follows adequate security measures, it is relatively easy for cybercriminals to get to users’ accounts.
Over half a million Zoom accounts ended up on sale on the dark web for less than a penny each. To prevent that from happening to you and your remote team, you should learn how to apply the suggested cybersecurity measures. For instance, Zoom offers 2-Factor Authentication (2FA). Make use of it and ensure that all your employees enable 2FA as well.
Therefore, when choosing your collaboration software, learn about its privacy and security features, and their application.
Strong Passwords Are the Best Defense Mechanism
Believe it or not, most data breaches occur when cybercriminals guess the passwords of users’ online accounts. Since many people continue to apply weak passwords (such as “password123” or “123456789”), hackers get a chance to invade their privacy. The data breach might occur even if only a single person in your company uses a common password.
That is why RDP attacks, when criminals combine usernames and passwords until they find a match, have become rife. In the USA alone, RDP attacks skyrocketed by 330% since the coronavirus lockdown.
So, guarantee that your entire remote team uses strong passwords for all their accounts. A good password should be unique, impossible to guess, and completely random – no birthdates, names, or other easily identifiable information.
Encourage the Use of a VPN
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Since your employees will be working away from the office, chances are they will connect to unsecured networks. It makes it easier for outsiders to break into the connection and monitor the activity on internet-connected devices.
The only way to ensure a completely safe connection is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts all data transmissions, hides IP addresses, and makes the connection highly difficult to track or intercept.
A VPN diverts the connection through the selected server and offers a veil of anonymity. It is one of the most effective tools for ensuring privacy and anonymity online.
The Bottom Line
Following these security measures is crucial if you want to protect your business. Cyberattacks are at an all-time high at the moment, and you need all the tools at your disposal to ensure better cybersecurity. Even after the COVID-19 lockdown, it is in your best interest to continue following these practices. Also, do not forget to teach your employees about the importance of cybersecurity.