So, you have enforced guidelines to work from home for the time being? Well, you are not alone. In fact, as per the Global Workplace Analytics data, more than 25% of the workforce will shift to remote work culture by this year. To further strengthen the fact, as per a leading online platform, more than 70% of the people are expected to work remotely for at least five days a month by 2025.
Besides the common guidelines of working remotely, one thing that you must put focus on is — shielding your data and systems from cyber-attacks. This was quite easy to manage when you were operating from a business network. But with everyone forced to coop inside their homes, employers can’t benefit from firewall protection.
Here is some data to further establish that cyberattacks amidst the pandemic are a rising concern for big and small businesses alike.
Why Must SMEs Take Cyber Attacks Seriously When Working Remotely?
Working from home is becoming a gateway to new ways of stealing data from companies. Also, since there are relatively lower technological infrastructure and safety firewalls, it’s hampering productivity and presenting a cyber risk to businesses.
Surprisingly, there has been an increase in the number of fraudulent emails or phishing attempts since the pandemic came into existence. Clearly, there has been a change in the way cybercriminals attack businesses during a pandemic. They target employees working from home and attempting data theft, and gaining access to sensitive information that might cause a stir in the business operations.
So, what can you do to ensure the security of your data? Please scroll down to know more about the tips and tricks to help your employees protect their systems from malware, viruses, other security threats.
Be Wary About Downloading Files From Third-party Websites
Now that your employees are expected to work from home, it is quite natural that they will require a bunch of applications, from video conferencing, networking to project management. Isn’t it? So, they need to download all these related files to get started with your everyday tasks.
But beware of the sketchy websites to download these applications. Also, don’t go all out for downloading several applications that might not even be useful. Ask your workforce to check the memo your company sent out and only choose programs mentioned in the details. If they can’t find any solution, ask them to take help from the IT department to figure out things for employees. Ideally, it’s better to download from Google Play Store or Apple Store, or authentic websites, experts exclaim.
Make VPNs Your Friend
Technically, there are two types of VPNs, one being where the consumer VPNs create a secure proxy to help you maintain your privacy over the public WiFi network. The other is corporate VPNs, where you access office resources. In this, one can connect to the business network from their home.
Ask your IT department to provide your employees with a VPN. However, if there isn’t one already in use, they can take the help of the popular VPN providers, such as NordVPN, IPVanish, and others. This is especially important if the workers are working using a free WiFi network.
Get Professional Help to Secure Their Gadgets Against Viruses
Companies must understand that they can’t solve every cybersecurity problem on their own. They require professionals’ help to keep every computer, system, or connected device free from malware or viruses. For instance, for Small Business Virus and Malware Removal, one needs to take the help of tech support to find the right level of security that your business needs.
Not only that, the same provider will help you tackle the virus issues that might be hampering your employees’ productivity in the following ways:
1. Slow computer issues
2. Data loss or computer crashes
3. Applications not functioning properly
4. Erratic system behavior
5. Non-responsive tools or programs
Backup your Files to Avoid Data Loss
Most companies often think that having the system secure is enough to avoid any cybersecurity attack. Well! If you employ foolproof measures, it’s good. But why take a chance?
Whenever you direct your employees to work remotely (or even on the company premises), ask them to back up data using DropBox or iCloud or any other storage set up to ensure you don’t lose important or sensitive data because of any technical hindrance.
Pay Attention to Software Updates
When working on company premises, the IT department often takes care of the software updates. However, with everyone working from home, you need to ask your employees to never miss out on software updates. Using the latest update allows you to safeguard your data against any known phishing attacks.
Working remotely is the need of the hour, irrespective of the size of your company. So, it becomes more important than ever to take care of your company data against possible cyber attacks.
To ensure that, follow the steps mentioned below.
- Train your employees about the proper management of company data.
- Keep a regular check on security measures to authenticate the effectiveness of the security controls.
- Secure the network and the devices to identify and remove possible viruses or malware proactively.
Other than the points mentioned above, don’t forget to do the obvious, i.e., regularly updating passwords on all devices used for company work. Further, ask your employees to use different devices for personal and professional usage. Because using the same device to watch Netflix or paying home bills might jeopardize the business data.
Also, avoid giving your company device to your family or friends. This will reduce cybercriminals from taking advantage of any work from home loopholes that came into the limelight recently. It goes without saying that the benefit of working from home should be taken responsibly as well. Maintaining security standards must always be the topmost priority to protect your data and investment from all kinds of cyber threats.
Only then can you grow amidst the growing concerns of pandemic without any hassles. Isn’t that what you expect when running a business?