Remote work was increasingly common before COVID-19, and now more and more companies are offering employees ways to work part-time or full-time at home. Unfortunately, remote work can bring its own unique set of challenges to employers, not the least of which is cybersecurity.
Here are seven ways employers can reduce the risks of data breaches and hacks when they have a remote workforce.
Avoid Unsecured Networks
Free WiFi is available everywhere these days. And your employees may not think twice about setting up shop at a cafe, library, coffee shop, or airport. Unfortunately, hackers love free WiFi environments. Offering your remote workforce HotSpots can help keep them off unsecured networks and help protect your confidential data.
The U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all have issued warnings about coronavirus phishing scams.
Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus through mass emails posing as legitimate health organizations. When the recipient opens the email, their system gets infected. Or, email recipients are taken to realistic-looking websites, where far too many comply when prompted for login info.
Be sure your employees know about phishing scams and how to prevent becoming a phishing victim.
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Prohibit Personal Devices
Just because you send your employees home with company equipment doesn't mean they're using it. When your employees start using personal devices to do their work, they introduce a new element of risk. If possible, remote workers should be asked only to use company devices. If not possible, personal devices should be vetted and improved by your IT department before being used for work purposes.
Limit Data Accessibility
Not all data is equal, and not all employees need remote access to the most valuable data. If possible, limit remote access to high-value, sensitive information.
Add Cybersecurity to Contracts
Vendors and contractors may be accessing the same data and networks as your employees do. Be sure to include cybersecurity standards in your contracts for vendors and outside contractors to ensure your data is protected against unprotected networks and that your most valuable, sensitive data can only be accessed when necessary.
Prepare for Human Error
Even the best employees make mistakes some times. Whether it's a good intention gone wrong or a distraction from home that leads to an oversight, mistakes happen. Make cybersecurity training (and retraining) a priority for your remote employees.
Insure Against Breaches and Mistakes
Whether it's a hacker who cleverly phishes their way into an employee's login via email or a careless mistake made by a dedicated-but-distracted employee, there's no way to 100% prevent a cyber breach from occurring.
Insure against the likelihood of a cyber breach with cyber liability insurance, and you won't have to pay out of pocket to restore systems, alert customers, or to defend your company in court if a mistake happens.
Get a free cyber liability quote today from Aegis Insurance Markets, and you can start protecting your company against the likelihood of a breach from your remote workforce.