Top 5 Remote Work Security Mistakes
Working remotely is no longer a rarity, it is an essential practice for many companies. It will likely continue to be this way for years to come due to the convenience and efficiencies that come with working remotely. However, there are a few mistakes that companies and individuals will want to avoid to protect company assets and keep information secure. Working remotely does come with new risks and challenges, but some solutions keep companies and individuals as secure as possible.
First Mistake: Using Un-Secured, Public Wi-Fi
It may be convenient that people can access Wi-Fi from just about anywhere for free. However, using an unsecured or Public Wi-Fi can leave you vulnerable for many reasons. The first risk is man-in-the-middle attacks. This consists of someone eavesdropping or intercepting the information exchanged between Point A (the device) and Point B (the Wi-Fi signal). There are also malicious hotspots that disguise themselves as Public Wi-Fi for recognizable companies that will invade your device and gain access to your information. Avoid these risks by only using secured, safe Wi-Fi on remote work devices.
Providing Contractors and Third-Party Vendors More Access Than Required
It’s not just employees that need to be carefully monitored for security, it’s also third-party contractors and vendors if they gain remote access. This can be very easy to forget, as much of the focus revolves around training and educating employees. A great rule of thumb is only to provide access or share exactly what is needed, for no longer than it is needed. The more information that is available, the more vulnerable and at risk that information will be.
Using Weak Passwords
People generally feel very comfortable working remotely. It might be from home, in a familiar space, maybe even wearing pajamas. It’s very easy to feel a false sense of security when working remotely. Nobody in your household, for example, is likely to hack into your passwords, so what’s the harm in keeping it simple and easy to remember? However, the dangers are still very much present and far worse than a co-worker snooping around your account. Digital hackers also work remotely. They constantly search for access, so having a weak password can really put you at risk when working remotely. Always use a strong password, even when working remotely, and change your password often.
Postponing Software Updates
You may be working remotely, but you can still get very busy. The hustle and bustle continue, even outside of the traditional work setting. It might be tempting to put off any software updates of OS and antivirus malware protection. The classic “remind me later” option may be tempting at the moment, and then it’s out of sight, out of mind. It can easily become forgotten over extended periods of time. This will, unfortunately, leave the device vulnerable to hackers who are deliberately looking for weaknesses and vulnerabilities to gain access to information. It’s important to have the most up-to-date software available to you to ensure that the device is properly protected.
The comfort of working at home and working remotely makes the devices that you are working with feel equally as comfortable. In your home, they become an extension of your household rather than business equipment. This can apply to both your own device or company-issued device. It may begin to feel like your own personal device, so it might seem harmless to allow a household member or a child to use it for a short period of time. This could be another remote work mistake. Employees are trained in taking cybersecurity measures, but their children, relatives, or household members are not familiar with company policies. It only takes one tap or click to open a malicious attachment or follow an unsecured link that can expose your device to attackers, even through no fault of their own. It’s best to keep work devices for work only and for the intended user only.
SEGMENTECH is an advanced cyber security workshop that specializes in Privileged Access Management (PAM) and EndPoint protection. We can assist you with guiding your teams in developing code with a least-privileged approach. Contact us today if you would to discuss why Privileged Access Management is a must-have on every self-developed application.