Stay Secure Against Growing COVID-19 Remote Work Challenges
Along with the rapid spread of COVID-19, businesses have been fighting a threat on another front: the sheer volume of cyberattacks on those working from home. To protect yourself, your employees, and your business, it’s critically important that you stay aware and stay secure against growing remote work challenges.
Attacks on Small Businesses
You would think most cybersecurity threats are aimed at large corporations such as the Capital One’s breach in 2019. The breach affected around 100 million people in the United States and about 6 million people in Canada. The reality is, 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses. Since it can take six months or more to detect a data breach, smaller companies need to address any cybersecurity concerns now. Small Business Trends reports that companies with 10-49 employees lost an average of $41,269 due to cyberattacks, and those with 50-249 employees lost around $48,686 per attack. Those with 250-1,000 employees ended up losing $64,085 per incident.
Home Networks Are Not Necessarily Secure
Working remotely requires employees to access the office network. If remote workers are using less-than-secure WiFi networks or their devices, this presents an unprecedented level of risk to your business. You have no idea if their photos, music, videos, or emails are infected with malicious viruses like malware. IT professionals cannot support home networks, nor can they detect if the device a remote worker is using is infected with malware.
Malware is software cybercriminals use to gain unauthorized access to a remote worker’s computer and is specifically designed to disrupt and damage their computer system to steal data. Malware is a broad term to describe unwanted or malicious code such as; viruses, trojans, spyware, and ransomware, to name a few. Without the right IT support, you have no idea if your business data has been compromised.
Cybercriminals use a technique called phishing to gain access to unsuspecting employees working from home. They count on those working remotely, not paying attention, or being distracted to click on links that compromise their devices. Phishing emails are designed to look as if they came from a legitimate bank, government agency, or organization and usually contain an attachment. For instance, cybercriminals use fake emails from the World Health Organization (WHO) preying on those working remotely from home. Cybercriminals ask the recipients to click on a link with details on COVID-19 testing — only that link is loaded with malware. The link takes them to a page to confirm their data and account information. Once the information is obtained, they create new user credentials on remote systems to steal sensitive data.
Protecting Remote Workers
Protecting your business and the privacy of data is critical to the ongoing viability of your business. If you have employees working remotely, here’s how to stay aware and stay secure against growing COVID-19 remote work challenges. Here are some tips that will help you protect your remote workers — and the security of your company.
- Create a ‘working communication plan remotely’ to give reassurance to your remote workers that all communications will stay safe and secure.
- Provide cybersecurity training for your remote workers on how to stay safe and secure while working from home.
- Move your data files to the cloud if you haven’t already done so. The cloud provides better security and protection, keeping vital data safe. Data stored in the cloud is easily accessible by approved users.
- Establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect remote workers. Put a business VPN in place to encrypt those connections for added security. Cybercriminals can’t get into cloud-based applications at the same remote workers are accessing it.
- Check your remote IT support options. If remote workers are having an IT issue, appoint a trusted IT pro and allow them to log in remotely.
Don’t let your remote workers fall victim to cyberattacks — freshen up your security best practices by auditing your security protocols. To learn more or schedule a no-obligation IT security assessment, give us a call at 561-295-4421 or send us an email at Info@ecwcomputers.com. ECW Network & IT Solutions offers more than IT security solutions. In addition to ensuring you have the right cybersecurity protocols in place, you can also face threats like electrical failures, storms, and natural disasters. Protect yourself and plan for the unexpected as your business rebounds once the current coronavirus crisis is under control.