What are the essential Cybersecurity tools for remote workers?

Many businesses are returning to a degree of normality. But the benefits of remote working (for employees and companies) have been widely acknowledged, and this shift in the way we approach work looks set to stay. Since the remote working model is dependent upon virtual, online-based activities, it’s important to proactively manage the security aspect to ensure this remains a viable alternative to in-office work. The key question to ask is:

‘What cybersecurity tools do I need to keep my data and processes safe?’

Without the right cyber security tools in place, your remote workers can be the victims of cyber threats. Or your business could be open to vulnerabilities. Just a simple data breach could result in massive difficulties for your company and for your reputation … with costly and highly damaging consequences. Having to report a GDPR breach to the ICO can become a time-consuming issue that doesn’t paint your organisation in the best light. 

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. Cybercriminals aim to gain access to sensitive information, which could result in damage, change or manipulation of this data. They also use their activities to extort money from users or to disrupt business processes.

Year on year, implementing effective cybersecurity tools becomes increasingly challenging. Around the world, there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more inventive and creative. With remote workers now a permanent feature of the workplace, security vulnerabilities need to be at the forefront of every business leader’s thinking. In this article, we’ll look at the essential cybersecurity tools you should put in place to keep your remote employees and your business safe from attack.

What makes remote workers easy targets?

Remote working can be good for your people and good for your business. But, it can expose your business to risks. Here are some of the common exploitations which you may encounter. 

Remote devices

Depending on the arrangements you’ve made with them, your workers may be using personal devices for some of their tasks. These will often lack vital cybersecurity tools that are built into business networks. These include strong antivirus software, customised firewalls, and automatic online backup tools. This increases the risk of malware finding its way onto their personal devices. The result? Both personal and work-related information can be leaked.

Unsecured wifi networks

Most remote workers rely on their domestic wifi connection. Others occasionally use unsecured public wifi networks. These are fertile ground for malicious parties – perfect for them to spy on internet traffic and gather confidential data.

Scams targeting remote employees

The increase in remote working will undoubtedly result in an increase in malicious campaigns targeting your employees. We’ll also see an increase in work-from-home scams.

Social engineering

This is where a cyber-criminal might pretend to be a member of your IT team, a supplier or an affiliate and deceive a remote worker into revealing confidential information

Phishing

This is a form of social engineering whereby an attacker sends a harmless-looking email with a malicious attachment that downloads malware onto the victim’s computer or links to a legitimate-looking but malicious site. This site then asks for credentials or automatically downloads malware.

8 Essential cybersecurity tools for remote working teams

Use Multifactor Authentication or Two-factor authentication (2FA)

This is also known as two-step verification or dual-factor authentication. This is a security process that forces users to provide two different authentication factors for their account verification. With 2FA, you’re armed with an additional layer of security to secure your virtual account.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN allows users to connect to the internet safely and securely. It uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that your personal information remains private. VPN hides your IP address and masks your location. For remote workers, there are a few better ways to ensure maximum security.

Zero Trust Networks

A Zero Trust Network is a network technology that provides secure remote access to applications and services based on defined access control policies. In effect, Zero Trust Networks operate on the principle of ‘trust no one.’ In other words, the default position is to deny access unless it has been specifically granted for each particular instance.

Password Protection tools

We can’t emphasise strongly enough the importance of using strong unique passwords. Make sure your remote workers use separate passwords for personal and work accounts or devices. With ever-growing fraudulent activity through password breaching, using weak passwords or the same passwords across multiple accounts and devices (including your business account) will make your people vulnerable to security threats.

Cloud Backup

For maximum security, your organisation should ensure that your people store and backup their data and files to Mobile Management Devices (MDM).  Storage devices, such as external hard drives and flash drives can host malware attacks and can easily get broken or stolen, resulting in increased danger of data breaches.

Device encryption

Ensure that you encrypt your data with good encryption software in the event of a third-party breach. With encryption, your data files are considerably well protected. Windows’ built-in BitLocker or Mac OS X’s FileVault are good encryption tools.

Endpoint protection

Endpoint protection allows you to block malware and detect deadly viruses that can corrupt your files and expose you to cyber threats.

Email security

Email filtering software prevents malicious emails from entering your inbox. Mimecast is an excellent platform – a favourite here at Silverbug. It has many great features that allow your employee to choose the kind of emails they receive. Potentially malicious emails are marked as SPAM, ensuring that the recipient doesn’t engage with them. 

Going beyond cybersecurity tools:

Here at Silverbug, we’ll care for all your cybersecurity concerns. Using our own extensive security operations expertise and specialist security team, we’ll make your IT security our focus.

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