How to Manage Remote Work Cybersecurity

By Zachary Amos •  Updated: 07/08/22 •  5 min read

As more bosses and employees start to work remotely, they must take cybersecurity into consideration. Criminals are upping their hacking game, so businesses need to prepare to prevent and thwart their attacks. Doing both can reduce their chances of falling victim to significant disruption.

What can you do to improve remote work cybersecurity with a lot of remote workers? Here are a few ways to help prevent hacking and why these tips are so important.

The Current Rate of Cybercrime

Believe it or not, the first cyberattack happened in 1834. Joseph and François Blanc used the French telegraph system to steal information about the stock market. Even then, humans felt the need to obtain data in any way possible. That’s only continued as the world moved to computers and ramped up digitalization during the pandemic.

In 2021, IBM published a report saying the average data breach cost companies $4.24 million – the highest number in almost 20 years. Some 60% of businesses moved to cloud-based operations due to COVID-19, and being unprepared for the switch created new challenges. Companies that started to work remotely often had breaches costing $1 million compared to those who didn’t make the change so quickly. Additionally, stolen credentials caused the most breaches and were the data hackers exposed the most.

Cybersecurity is clearly a crucial factor you need to consider. With such a high rate of attacks, anybody anywhere could become a victim. Think of when ransomware attacks and data breaches will happen, not if. When you only plan for “if,” you’re not taking an active stance to protect company operations. Act and prepare as though hacks are inevitable.

Strategies for Managing Remote Work Cybersecurity

You want to do your best to keep your business and employees safe while working remotely. As IBM’s study showed, working from home can come with some risks. But using these tactics to strengthen your cybersecurity could reduce the chances of a hacker gaining access.

1.   Work Computers

Some people might have started using their personal computers for work once they started telecommuting. However, this can have dangerous effects on cybersecurity. Hopefully, your IT team is running frequent updates and anti-virus scans, but many don’t do that for their own technology.

If you have the means, it’s prudent that all employees have computers they only use for work. Perhaps you could offer to cover some of the cost if your company couldn’t pay for everyone. But, since these computers will be much more secure, they’re a worthwhile investment. Protecting your business’s data is priceless.

2.   Remote Management Software

Your company might have implemented something like this during the pandemic to gauge employee workflows. With this kind of program, you could track attendance and complete payroll without needing to be in the office. However, security features in remote management software may have been their most appealing feature.

Designers set up these programs to give you access to work data in real-time. You can now see what workers are doing with company information while it is happening. This tool can be very useful for catching a cyberattack. If you notice something off in the records or see someone poking around where they shouldn’t, you can address it immediately. Use remote management software to stop data theft before it happens.

3.   Phishing Scam Education

Scammers are getting much better at their phishing schemes. Credential theft phishing makes up over 50% of all cyberattacks, so your employees need to know what to look out for when they’re opening up emails. If you have an IT team, try asking them if they can either help you teach classes or recommend any good training programs.

You could also update your spam filters for emails and phone calls. The latter scam is just as relevant as email fakes, so finding a good caller ID program or implementing better filters can be very beneficial. The best way to stop a phishing scam is to prevent it from ever reaching employee access. However, you should still ensure they know the best practices for identifying harmful messages. A good offense is the best defense – so teach workers good judgment.

4.   Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

If you’re an active YouTube user, you might have seen influencers on the platform promoting certain VPNs. They often explain how they use the network to watch shows unavailable in their country. But that’s not why your business would find these practical.

A VPN provides privacy while accessing the internet. They encrypt your internet traffic, hiding it from hacker access. There are some free VPNs you could use, but many other offices are using them as well, so it’s likely better to pay for higher-quality service. That way, you can avoid slowing down the network and your internet speed. For the maximum efficiency and internet protection, a VPN is a great option.

Use the Best Cybersecurity Practices for Remote Work Management

Managing the cybersecurity of many remote workers can be challenging. You can’t be there to check in with everyone and make sure they’re doing the right thing. What you can do is teach employees about how dangerous hackers have become and utilize these tips for wise management. Doing so could help your business prevent a devastating attack.

Zachary Amos

Zachary is a tech writer and the features editor of ReHack Magazine where he covers cybersecurity and all things technology.