Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Sensitive Data When Working Remotely
by Julie Hughes for TurnOnVPN
Driven by the rise of the freelance worker, remote work has been on an upward trajectory in the last few years. It has even become a global trend since the pandemic compels social distancing. This unique working arrangement allows employees to do their jobs outside of the office. That means no daily commutes to and from work, leading to less work-related stress and improved morale. For an employer, remote work is good business. Remote workers tend to be happier and healthier, and as a result, perform better and are more committed to the company.
When working remotely, employees can execute their projects from wherever they please. Some favor working from home while others find coworking spaces more comfortable. Either way, remote work has been found to improve productivity and enhance work-life balance. But it’s not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows in the world of remote work. The issue here is that there are real security vulnerabilities that put the organization’s sensitive data at risk.
Unsecured Networks – Business Opportunity Cybersecurity Tips
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network at a hotel lobby or the airport to send a quick work email may seem convenient, but such action comes with a security risk. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which increases the risk of data interception and network intrusion — which puts your office network at a high risk of being compromised.
Lost Computers and Mobile Devices
One of the biggest cybersecurity threats when it comes to working remotely is lost or stolen devices. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for unattended devices; they are opportunists. A laptop is stolen every minute at airports alone. Most of the devices are never returned. Cybercriminals will attempt to harvest sensitive data on the device and get rid of it.
Working from home increases the risk of malware infection significantly. Ranging from exposed web administrative interfaces such as cameras, routers, cable modems, and IoT devices to malware plagued personal computers, there are plenty of cybersecurity risks to consider when working from home. Malware can easily spread from a personal computer to the office network.
Cybersecurity Tips When Working Remotely
As you can see, the convenience of remote work comes at great cost in the form of cybersecurity risk. However, there are ways to enjoy the benefits of remote work, at home or in coworking spaces, while protecting sensitive personal and company data. Take a look.
Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi
Considering the sensitivity of business data, using public Wi-Fi networks for business purposes is extremely risky. If you constantly find yourself in situations where you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, download a VPN for your browser. What is a VPN? Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is an application that uses advanced encryption protocols and secure tunneling techniques to extend a private network across a public network.
Protect Your Devices When Working in Public Spaces
Many organizations get caught in data breaches simply because an employee misplaced his or her laptop when working remotely. If your computer or tablet contains sensitive work data, make sure that you maintain physical control at all times when working remotely, say at a restaurant or any other public space. Use secure methods to lock the screen and turn on ‘Find My Device’ just in case.
Deploy Security Software – Business Opportunity Cybersecurity Tips
As a remote worker, you can protect the devices that you use for work purposes from malware infection by using antivirus software. Install a robust antivirus application that provides comprehensive protection against rootkits, trojans, adware, ransomware, and other types of malicious software. Make sure that your antivirus is always up to date to guarantee security.
The rise of freelancing has caused a surge in remote work. Additionally, a growing number of companies are implementing remote work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and related social distancing guidelines. However, cybersecurity concerns are threatening the momentum of this popular workforce arrangement. By observing the security guidelines outlined in this article, remote workers can continue reaping the benefits of working remotely and protect sensitive company data at the same time.
Related Additional Reading Suggestion: COVID19: Who Will Survive, Who Will Thrive and Why