While you may think your IT and technology requirements decrease without the use of physical office space, the opposite is actually true.
What’s the main reason remote work opens your business to cybersecurity attacks? Teams working from home naturally expand the attack environment for hackers given the vulnerable state of home networks, unsecured devices, and uncontrolled environments.
1. Use of Personal Computers & Mobile Devices
Over 50% of remote teams are using a personal computer to do their work and just as many are using personal mobile devices. With an increase in bring-your-own-device (BYOD), the line for personal and business use on technology devices is more blurred than ever and where lines are blurred, exposure and vulnerabilities grow.
One key way the use of personal computers and devices introduce risk to your business or organization:
- Unknown or no BYOD security policies in place.
Even if your company has elaborate policies around the use of personal computers and devices for work, if your teams are misinformed or unaware of the policies or how to comply with them, each and every device becomes a risk for a security breach. Worse yet, if there are no policies in place around BYOD, it is not a matter of if but when a breach will impact your business.
2. Patching & Maintenance Coordination
The regular patching and maintenance of the systems, software, and devices utilized in your organization are key to reducing exposure to cybersecurity attacks. With teams and systems scattered in various environments, the coordination of the maintenance can become complicated without physical access to all endpoints, the diversity of operating systems, and a host of other potential complications when all users don’t operate in the same environment.
3. Unsecured Home Networks
In general, home WiFi networks are naturally more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to their no or minimal security protections. Additionally, most home network users don’t account for the variety of connected devices that increase their risk. Teams working remotely should consider any device connected to their home network a risk to their personal cybersecurity as well as their company’s.
4. Spotty Connectivity
Many businesses go to great lengths and spend significant amounts of money on software to prevent viruses from infecting devices utilized for work. So how does connectivity play a role? Many antivirus programs require connectivity to work at full capacity, and when connectivity fails, their effectiveness is diminished. 1 in 4 home WiFi networks has intermittent connectivity, creating opportunities for hackers to do their worst.
The sharing, storing, and general practices around password creation and use are still a key vulnerability for persons and businesses alike. Most businesses utilize secure password storage programs such as LastPass, 1Pass, MyGlue, and others, but even the use of these does not mitigate the risks completely. Why? Human error and lack of training around password protocols.
If your company is not utilizing secure and encrypted password storage and hasn’t trained your employees on best practices in password creation, sharing, and storage, you are at risk.
6. More IP Addresses
IP addresses serve as identifiers for devices utilizing any given network. Each IP address is an avenue for hackers to deploy any number of cybersecurity attacks like phishing, ransomware, spyware, DOS, or DD0S. The more addresses utilizing your systems and tools, the more inroads there are for those looking to do damage. Over 58% of small and medium businesses are the target of cybersecurity attacks and no industry is immune to these risks. If you don’t think it could happen to your small business, read our case study on how a small nonprofit organization fell victim to a ransomware attack.
Proactive IT and Technology Support is More Important Than Ever
Some businesses do not survive data loss or breach events and if they do, they may stand to lose months or years of work. We hear about cybersecurity breaches and attempts from businesses every single day and due to changing work environments and flexibilities, the risk is constantly increasing. Reactive support and bare minimum protocols not only leave you open to more risk but end up costing your business or organization more in the long run.
So don’t wait to get a security strategy in place. Reach out to our team to start the conversation.