Despite being a rarity only a few years ago, for many of us, remote work has now become an integral part of our professional lives. Thanks to technology, employees can now work from the comfort of their homes, a café or virtually anywhere.
However, the rise of remote work has also brought new challenges, especially when it comes to cyber security. As remote work environments lack the stringent security measures found in traditional office spaces, it is crucial for remote workers and their employers to adopt a proactive approach in order to prevent cyber attacks.
In this blog, we explain what remote workers can do to ensure sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
It may seem obvious, but using strong and unique passwords for all accounts and devices remains one of the most effective cyber security practices. Remote workers should avoid using easily guessable passwords and opt for a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Using a password manager can help generate and securely store complex passwords.
In addition to strong passwords, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a must. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide at least two forms of identification, such as a password and a fingerprint, or a one-time code which is sent to their mobile device. This drastically reduces the risk of unauthorised access.
Secure Wi-Fi networks
Your Wi-Fi network should be a priority when it comes to cyber security. Ensure that your home network is protected with a strong, unique password.
Consider using WPA3 encryption, and regularly update your router’s firmware to patch any known vulnerabilities. You could also set up a separate guest network for your work devices to further isolate them from your personal network.
Regular software updates
Outdated software and operating systems are a prime target for cyber attacks. To prevent vulnerabilities, always keep your software, including operating systems and applications, up to date. An easy way to stay on top of this with minimal effort is by enabling automatic updates wherever possible.
VPN and encrypted communication
Depending on the security requirements of your role, some remote workers may benefit from using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt internet traffic and protect sensitive data. A VPN provides a secure tunnel for data transmission, making it difficult for cyber criminals to intercept your communications. Additionally, using encrypted communication tools for emails and messaging will ensure that your messages remain confidential.
Cyber security training
Remote workers could also take cyber security training to stay informed about the latest threats and best practices. Training can help employees recognise phishing emails and other common strategies used by cyber criminals. Read more about why cyber security is everyone’s responsibility here.
Remote work is here to stay, and the need for cyber security practices is more significant than ever. By following these best practices, remote workers can avoid falling victim to cyber attacks and keep their company’s sensitive data safe. But cyber security is a joint effort, so employers should also play their part by providing the necessary tools, resources, and policies to ensure a secure remote work environment.
If you’re interested in learning more about cyber security and how it can benefit your business, contact us today to speak with one of our experts.