According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29 percent of Americans were able to work from home before the COVID-19 era. According to Buffer, 99 percent of workers would choose to work remotely if they could, for at least part of the time and for the rest of their careers.
Today, when most employees are left with no other choice but to work from home, they, as well as their bosses are starting to notice the multiple complications that remote work involves.
Yes, it is lonely, it may not be as productive, but there is are much-bigger challenges than these. Apparently, working from home can actually put businesses at risk. While some businesses have a good enough cyber and network security system in place, many are not aware of the risks involved in connecting remotely.
Just last week, the Global Cyber Center of NY partnered with Cyber Ladies, the Israeli Economic Mission to North America and Perimeter 81 and held its first cybersecurity virtual event on the dangers of remote work, including practical solutions for seamlessly securing organizational networks.
"Organizations of all kinds are facing an uptick in email-based threats, endpoint-security gaps and other problems as a result of the sudden switch to a fully remote workforce,” says William Altman, Senior Analyst at the Global Cyber Center of NYC, operated by SOSA. “It’s now more important than ever to consider both the security practitioner as well as ethical-hacker perspectives in order to stay secure, that's what this is all about."
These 4 signs of a cyber breach that employees should look out for were mentioned at the event:
New programs that were not installed appear.
The computer slows down.
Strange pop-up ads appear on the screen.
Loss of control of the mouse or keyboard.
“If any of these start to happen,” says Sivan Tehila, Director of Solution Architecture at Perimeter 81 and Founder of Cyber Ladies NYC, “be sure to notify your company’s IT administrator so they can immediately mitigate risk.”
In order to make sure you know exactly what to look out for, she lists the 3 concerns and hazards of remote work:
Home Wi-Fi Security:
As opposed to the office environment, where IT managers can control the security of all Wi-Fi networks, employees’ home networks probably have weaker protocols (WEP instead of WPA-2, for example). This allows hackers easier access to the network’s traffic.
Phishing attacks are widely recognized as the top cause of data breaches. Hackers can easily send seemingly legitimate, deceptive emails with malicious links and attachments. Once an employee clicks on this malicious link, a hacker is able to gain access to the employer’s device.
Simple passwords are incredibly easy for hackers to crack, and furthermore, if an insecure password is used across several platforms, it allows hackers to gain unauthorized access to multiple accounts in a very short period of time.
“The current COVID19 situation led to a transformation. Remote work inevitably brings a new set of risks and challenges,” says Guy Franklin, Managing Director at SOSA NYC, Global Cyber Center. “Hackers are ready for that.”
Since working from home is mostly mandatory, businessesmust rapidly ensure the security of every device. “Employers should discard hardware-based legacy VPNs in favor of cloud-agnostic and scalable network security solutions,’’ suggests Sivan Tehila. “Legacy VPNs can leave gaping holes in your remote security efforts, as they are difficult to deploy and configure, and moreover, they lack the ability to effectively secure policy-based remote access to on-premises resources, hybrid cloud environments, and business applications.” Another key element, she adds, involves virtual training: “Companies should carry out virtual training for team members to educate them on what to do in the event of a cyber-attack and what potential risks they should watch out for, such as suspicious emails, malware, etc.
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