Home-based work, especially remote working due to the pandemic, has brought novel cyber security challenges. When the employees work outside their office headquarters remotely, an extraordinary challenge is faced by the organizations and employees who are not very accustomed to using IT systems in this way.
Opportunistic cybercriminal activities also drastically increase and must be handled at scale and speed.
Remote work cyber security challenges
A potent blend of human and technical challenges has been exacerbated with remote work. The most common remote work cyber security challenges are discussed below:
Expanded attack surface
Several consumer-grade types of equipment such as phones, tablets, and home computers have been added to the list with remote work. These additional connections and devices may or may not be optimized for security and are vulnerable to attacks. Thus the surface for the attack has been expanded thoroughly.
The massive increase in target
The target for cyber threat attacks and locations increases when the employees or the company staff work at home or as de facto frontline information system defenders. The company data is exposed to several networks and connections.
Sometimes with remote working, the organization tends to divert the company cybersecurity budget to other budget areas. But management must remember that cybersecurity is essential, especially when employees work outside the office in some remote location.
More cybercrimes occur due to urgency, doubt, uncertainty, fear, and other factors when working remotely.
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Ways to address challenges of remote working
Great Learning offers several cyber security programs designed to address the challenges occurring due to remote working. The endpoints that need to be started for such responses are where the IT infrastructure amalgamates with the end-users.
Some of the techniques to mitigate security risks, essentially a blend of human and technical errors, are discussed below:
No work on non-company computers
Many organizations have a history of placing no work on non-company computers. In such a scenario, when you are working remotely, you are provided with devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops that are multifactor authentication defended, remotely managed yet company configured. Such devices are controlled, bound securely, and endpoint protected through corporation network with the use of technologies such as software-defined perimeter and VPNs
Virtual desktop infrastructure
The organizations that already have employees working on virtual desktop infrastructure anchored in the organization do not face hardship while shifting the work to remote locations. So you can easily shift these VMs anywhere with an encrypted and dedicated remote connection to the organization’s network.
The organizations can also have options such as SDP, VPN, zero trust, MFA, desktop virtualization on the corporate servers. A cloud-based solution combined with IaaS and SaaS is another popular option when working in an outside office environment.
Security awareness training
Security awareness training is essential for organizations that have introduced new policies, procedures, and technologies to their employees working remotely. Such training should focus on the unique situations that may arise in remote working. This should essentially include:
- Protection against burglary
- Sharing devices with other members of the house
- Locking unattended devices
- Configuration of Wi-Fi
It is also important to manage, monitor, be supportive, and be positive towards the employees working remotely.
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Another critical aspect of the cyber security threat while working remotely that is often ignored is updating the cyber security insurance and conducting a security audit. These may act as core operating models for the future and should be given equal importance.