Cyber Security Measures During Remote Work

COVID-19 has changed the world as never before. Starting in 2019 it is still here and expected to stay for times unknown. The virus is changing patterns. It appears as a new variant at intervals at different places. Health scientists agree on one thing it is going nowhere in near future. It is now a new normal of life. We have to learn to live with it. It is a hide and seeks game. We have to retreat once it is going to be aggressive in a new wave or as a new variant. We can make a comeback after spending some time in “stay at home” and “remote working” modes. Assuring Cyber Security is important while working from home. Make sure that your system is safe against any unauthorized access.

Why Remote Working?

Businesses have to learn to turn on remote working at pauses and intervals. Remote working is a new business phenomenon that works as a tool against coronavirus spread while saving the business from a total shutdown. Remote work essentially means online working. An unpredictable massive shift to remote work poses serious cyber-security issues for businesses. Following are some reasons why a business is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks

  • An extreme upsurge in the online population is alarming for IT and HR departments.
  • They have to make arrangements for a large number of “always live” redundant connections offering sustainable VPN solutions.
  • The increased number of people living an online life is a boon for hackers.
  • It is a golden time for them to break the window to enter in safety zones of businesses. 
  • Remote working demands extremely reliable digital communication channels like video conferencing and chat sessions.
  • A cyber-attack blocking critical communications can play havoc with a company by restricting its clients to connect and the employees to interact with each other. 
  • The element of human mistake is again another threat where physical support is not readily available.
  • A wrong command or erroneous entry can result in a system breakdown or at least a compromised output. 
  • Employees do not afford to install sophisticated cybersecurity gadgets with their systems at home.

The best option is to equip every employee with the state of the art fully secure equipment at home. There can be methods for this like providing the equipment at the cost of the company. The other way is to finance to the employee to purchase and own the equipment and pay back to the company in installments. It is also not possible for every business to equip each employee with state-of-the-art systems.

Security Threats

Poor passwords and low-quality WI FI routers are a source of malware and virus attacks. Coronavirus has opened up an entirely new world of opportunities for hackers. The Corona virus-related fraud is a new breed of cyber-security threat that is rising at phenomenal speed. Because of the above situation, we suggest following cybersecurity safeguards for businesses opting for work from home.

 Limit Access 

Employees are normally allowed limited access to the company network strictly matching the needs of their job descriptions. Supervisors are sometimes allowed to access additional data to make it convenient for them to keep an effective check on junior employees. A bit more than needed access can put the entire organizational network at risk. 

Businesses inherently are prone to expand and open up their online access to an unlimited number of customers. It can create pressure on their network causing a crash if not supported with stringent state-of-the-art servers. Blocking access to unauthorized devices can be a step in the right direction. 

No Trust Mechanism

Trusting anyone is a way to let the hacker enter easily into your systems. Rest is up to him to prove his presence. The mantra of digital security is “Verify first, then trust”. Implement a NO TRUST Mechanism across the organization. Install foolproof trusted applications, firewalls VPN, etc. Introduce Two Factor verification process for employees and customers. Improve remote security checks and cloud monitoring. Following a Zero Trust regime is a safer way to fence against cyber-security threats. 

Training on Cybersecurity Risks

No vibrant business can compromise on HR development. The businesses have adequately realized the need for continued learning of their employees. Systematic training, seminars, workshops, and study tours are now an integral part of HR development. Educating employees on cyber-security issues is now a dire need of time.

A system of regular information updates should be devised to keep the employees informed about cyber-security threats. No business can afford the leisure of ignoring the cybersecurity training of its staff. Checklists and instruction manuals should be introduced to keep the employee abreast of safety precautions.

 Daily Backups

The worst can still happen despite all safety measures being in place. A readily available backup of your data alone is the best rescue. It remains the last defense against system crashes and cyber-attacks including the notorious ransomware. Make all arrangements to back up data on regular basis. A daily backup, therefore, is a highly admired practice among IT experts. The famous  3-2-1 backup rule is strongly recommended. It means storing two copies of data locally on different mediums, and one copy stored off-site.

Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of a blog intended for avid readers.