“Cybersecurity is a new area where equality will exist to allow intelligence to succeed.” – Ian R. McAndrew
Businesses have adopted new ways of working in the current pandemic situation and remote working has become the order of the day. The digital workforce needs to be wary of the cyber security risks associated with remote working and companies need to equip their staff with adequate knowledge and skills required to safeguard themselves from data leakage and other vulnerabilities. Let’s look at some of the key risks involved in remote working which needs to be remediated with due diligence and caution.
Phishing attacks and spams continue to be a major threat in remote working. Fraudsters masquerade themselves as reliable entities and gain access to sensitive data and critical information. This can result in severe reputational and financial losses to the staff and the organization. The leadership team needs to ensure that multiple training sessions are conducted to enhance the knowledge levels of staff on social engineering and its impact. Everyone needs to understand the implications of phishing threats and learn to identify any potential phishing emails and malicious activities. Newsletters and broadcast messages can be shared on a regular basis to sensitise the staff about their downside risk.
Despite strong firewalls and secure VPN connection, hackers leverage human error and negligence to gain access over systems for stealing sensitive data and information. Repeat passwords used by remote working staff can provide easy access to fraudsters who try to capture the information at keystroke level through keyloggers, screen scrapers and ransomware. This paves the way for cracking the code and opens the floodgate for misuse of personal and company information. Use of passphrases, avoiding usage of personal information in password and repeat passwords would help in data loss prevention for oneself and the business. Staff must be made fully aware of the password protection, code of conduct policy and ensure everyone abides by the laid down guidelines without any deviations.
Data threat via phone and email is another sensitive area that needs to be addressed. Staff need to follow compliance standards to ensure that client data shared internally and externally are properly encrypted by following the established security protocols. This would help ensure confidentiality by safeguarding client information and keeping cyber interceptions at bay. Contact list, e-mail attachments, voice mail information needs to be protected with the help of encryption platforms. Secured file sharing software can be used for file synchronisation that provides enhanced authentication through secure socket layers.
Businesses can reduce the risk of cyber security threats by adapting themselves to Desktop-as-a-service. This would allow employees to connect to the company network with their personal devices and virtual desktops remotely over the network and access all the files through their workstations. This would mitigate the risk of data threats. Thanks to the virtualisation that is centralised on the premises rather than end point devices. The IT security team can also look at disabling access to USB and printers as part of their surveillance and access control measures. We at Newlineinfo Corp have a strong and well defined cybersecurity framework that aims at protecting the client’s sensitive information from any external threats and vulnerabilities.