Security Concerns with Remote Working for Businesses: Tips to Mitigate Online Threats
With over 800,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) globally, including nearly 200,000 in the U.S., many businesses have switched to remote working in order to survive during this unanticipated period of economic decline.
As the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many American companies to mandate remote work, there are security concerns to consider. While switching to teleworking may be an effective measure to prevent the spread of the disease, your business may be facing online threats when employees are working from home.
We have prepared a list of considerations to address privacy concerns and provided tips to mitigate online threats after switching to remote working.
Review Your Security Policies
If the COVID-19 pandemic pushed your company to turn to remote working in a matter of a few days, your business may not be prepared and sufficiently protected from online threats.
You must review your company’s policies to establish security guidelines for teleworking and address remote access to company information systems. While some businesses had developed security policies to address remote work long before the pandemic began, most companies do not have such policies in place.
A 2018 report from Upwork, a major freelancing platform, showed that 63% of companies rely on employees who work remotely, and yet more than half of those companies (57%) do not have a remote work policy.
Ensure Efficient Communication and Collaboration
Your workers, managers, and supervisors must be familiar with security policies and guidelines that address remote work in order to function as a team even when working from home.
You must ensure efficient communication throughout the organization after switching to remote working. After all, many employees are clueless about security guidelines, while others may have never worked from home before, which is why you must provide guidance and assistance to everyone onboard.
Be Prepared to Respond to Security Breaches
As experts are warning of a wave of cyberattacks targeting those who work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, it is a good idea to develop security breach response plans. Your business must be prepared to respond to data breaches and other security incidents.
After all, when the entire company switches to remote working in an instant, your business faces heightened cybersecurity risks and online threats posed by remote working unless you have adequate security policies in place and are prepared to respond to breaches quickly.
How to Mitigate Online Threats When Working from Home?
We have prepared tips to fend off online threats when your employees are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Before permitting access to any of your company’s remote systems, your employees’ devices must be equipped with the latest and advanced security software;
- Require multi-factor authentication each time your employee needs to login to remote systems;
- Consider only permitting remote access through a virtual private network (VPN with end-to-end encryption;
- Prohibit your workers from gaining remote access from public places;
- Prohibit the use of public Wi-Fi;
- Require using secure and password-protected Wi-Fi at home; and
- When your employee attempts to download sensitive data, require additional credentialing or multi-factor authentication.
While it may not be possible or practical to implement all of these tips immediately due to the urgency of switching to remote working during the pandemic, make sure that your security team is working on gradually introducing these measures to mitigate online threats and prevent business and consumer fraud. Talk to knowledgeable West Palm Beach business and consumer fraud lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP, if your company became a victim of fraud or cyberattack during the pandemic. Call at 561-291-8298 for a consultation.