This past year has led to dramatic changes in the workplace and has drastically shifted how many companies conduct business. Many workplaces have transitioned online following the rise of COVID-19 as organizations began to require their employees to work remotely or from home. Although this helped to stall the spread of COVID-19, it has also led to a massive increase in cyber threats and the rise of cybercriminals. Phishing, malware and other cybercrimes skyrocketed as cybercriminals took advantage of the online shift. Employees tend to be less careful and often are unaware of the dangers hidden in their online workspace. It is important to be aware of the cyberthreats that exist to target individuals working remotely and learn how to keep sensitive company information secure.
Employees that are not trained on the dangers of phishing may be vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. It is easy for cybercriminals to target employees working remotely because often, they are unable to immediately communicate with one another. Many employees assume that any requests coming into their inbox from managers or other co-workers are legitimate. Cybercriminals take advantage and exploit this vulnerability.
Solutions: Educate your employees about common phishing schemes and how to avoid them. We have a blog post dedicated to tips on how to spot and avoid phishing schemes here.
Many employees may not have a quiet space to work at home, thus they may opt to work at a local café or another public space. If the employee chooses to use the public Wi-Fi available, this can be problematic and introduces new security risks. Other individuals have access to the same network and hackers can access your information and monitor your website traffic. It is important to protect your data and find a way to encrypt your information.
Solutions: The best solution would be to use a personal hotspot, either from your phone or another dedicated device. Additionally, you should use a VPN which can help protect your website traffic.
Although it may be tempting to reach for your own devices to handle work matters, this could be a security risk for you and your company! Your work computer likely has security measures in place that your personal devices do not, such as a VPN, encrypted drives, antivirus software and endpoint protection. Your personal computer could be easily compromised by a third party and may put your company network and information at risk.
Solutions: Keep your work and personal business separate and on their own respective computers.
Human error is much easier to exploit than machine error, which is why cybercriminals target account passwords to access sensitive information. Many employees may choose weak passwords that can be breached in under a minute or less. Having weak passwords or repeating passwords can put your company information at risk.
Solutions: Make sure that you are using a unique and strong password for each account. When possible, also try to use two factor or multi factor verification. Read our blog post here to learn more about ways to create a strong password.
Since you are not working in the same spaces as your coworkers, you may be required to send sensitive information via email. It can be risky to send sensitive data without encrypting it as it may be intercepted by a malicious third party. By encrypting the data, you will keep the information safe from unwanted eyes.
Solutions: Make sure to always encrypt your data.
Again, if you decide that you want a change of scenery and want to work in a public space, it is important that you consider that there are others around you. Someone sitting behind you may be able to see all the information that you are working on and identify potentially confidential information.
Solution: Make sure to block lines of sight from others in the same space from you and never leave your devices unlocked or unattended.
At Cyber Unit, we monitor for cyber threats around the clock so you don’t have to constantly look over your shoulder. We’re here to prevent attacks and with our customizable and affordable protections plans, you’ll ultimately be saving yourself from a potentially costly disaster.
Check out our website here to learn more.