Cybersecurity in the Age of Remote Work
By Agustina Alvarez ♦ 3 min read
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a paradigm shift in the way we work, with remote work becoming the new norm for many companies. However, this shift has also exposed new vulnerabilities in our cybersecurity defenses, as employees connect to company networks and handle sensitive information from their home environments.
As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, it's clear that remote work is here to stay. So how can we keep our data and information safe in this new reality?
One of the biggest challenges is the human element. According to the Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon, 85% of breaches involve human error. With more employees working from home, the risk of unintentional data leaks and security breaches is higher than ever.
To mitigate this risk, companies can take several steps. One is to create a closed system or virtual workspace where employees can work on confidential information without the risk of it being disseminated outside the organization. In addition, basic training in cybersecurity best practices can help employees avoid common mistakes that could compromise company data.
Another important step is to use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt all data traffic between the employee's computer and the company network. This provides an added layer of security beyond the traditional firewall and can help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and other common threats associated with public Wi-Fi networks.
Beyond using a VPN, it's important to regularly change passwords and avoid connecting work devices to unknown networks. Multi-factor authentication is another effective way to strengthen login security and prevent unauthorized access to company data.
Finally, it's important to physically secure sensitive documents and devices, especially in a home office environment where theft or loss could result in a data breach.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to our cybersecurity defenses, it has also spurred innovation in new communication and work tools. By promoting permanent changes in our organizations, we can continue to strengthen our defenses beyond the digital realm and ensure the security of our data and information in the age of remote work.