Skip links

Cybersecurity challenges in remote work and how to mitigate them

Partial or fully remote work has become the new norm for organizations worldwide, thanks to its numerous benefits to workers’ flexibility and overall productivity. Of course, like with many other facets of life, remote working conditions present their own particularly hefty challenges as a counter to the advantages. That’s the yin and yang of work life, as it goes.

Naturally, we are referring to the matter of hardware and software security. Cybersecurity is already a hot topic to begin with, regardless of the working conditions, as office-based organizations have been “fighting the good fight” against malware, hijackers, and other miscellaneous threats for years.

However, don’t let this overwhelming fact deter you from making the right choices for your remote-based company. Tackling the issue of cybersecurity entails three significant things: remaining knowledgeable, vigilant, and patient. With that said, you’ve stumbled upon the right article if you’re seeking crucial information on improving your cybersecurity journey going forward.

Lack of Employee Education on Cyberthreats

This first factor might seem like a given, but it’s often overlooked. Basic, up-to-date, digital conduct is of the essence, regardless of whether you’re using a home network device, a public library computer, or – yes – your work laptop.

Companies with a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy are particularly vulnerable, as remote employees will often use unsecured networks to access and transfer company data. Additionally, there’s the potential problem of employees practicing bad digital safety habits, such as using insecure passwords or storing data in non-secured device partitions.

In such scenarios, exploitable loopholes leading to phishing or ransomware become your worst nightmare. To mitigate this, you have vari-


ous safety nets like company VPNs, anti-malware software suites, and a dash of common sense. It’s advised that employees go through a few days of training on how to identify common threats in order to respond appropriately. The training should also include basic advice regarding password use, secure Wi-Fi connections, and multi-factor authentication.

Insecure Communication Channels

The backbone of all company structures is communication. As expected, the post-internet age has added some caveats to this aspect – and for good reason. For one, all channels of communication must be confidential and authorized. If absent, you ultimately risk becoming a victim of data breaches.

Addressing this is, perhaps, far more straightforward than you would anticipate. Organizations have a plethora of options when it comes to proprietary communication services. Still, the only ones that need any attention brought to them are those with end-to-end encryption. This includes Microsoft’s Teams platform and Outlook e-mail service, Google’s Workspace, and phone messaging apps like Signal, Telegram, and Viber.

Lack of Data Loss Prevention

Your day-to-day company activity entails storing and accessing information; that much is predetermined. In fact, the amount of file information stored and transferred on a constant basis can be overwhelming to imagine.

As such, besides digital theft, the most common issue any company faces is data loss. Moreover, you also have the added complication of hardware failure to consider. Accidents are prone to happen, including the possibility of your remote worker’s personal device failing, assuming they operate under a BYOD contract.

Luckily, multiple data loss prevention policies and software solutions exist to mitigate the above risks. Microsoft’s Purview is a flexible cloud-native suite that integrates with the rest of the Office network. Alternatively, Zscaler Data Protection provides extensive protection in a unified package for inline communication, email, workloads, and cloud data. Your choice isn’t limited to these two examples, of course, but you’ll have to search and decide based on the scale of your projects and the remote work output.

Insufficient Regulatory Compliance

Demanding regulatory requirements present themselves as yet another significant challenge regarding cybersecurity – just not in the way you would expect. For one, industries subject to meticulous data protection regulations such as HIPAA, GDOR, or PCI DSS must follow safeguard protocols in absolute terms. Remote work automatically makes this a not-so-easy task, as it requires extensive monitoring.

Regular compliance audits aren’t just recommended – they are a necessity. To mitigate further risk of non-compliance, organizations will need to implement a robust system of mechanisms pertaining to access control, remote and office-based employees’ data privacy, and the previously mentioned security practices.

In essence, by following our advice above, you’ve already made tremendous leaps in cybersecurity.

Staying Informed and Proactive – the Best Digital Medicine

best digital medicine

The hurdles we face in our daily online ventures are as multifaceted and complex as the devices we connect with. The common theme among all these bits of advice is evident – proactivity. We can’t tackle the problem at hand if we don’t know a thing about it, hence why your approach should be diligent.

A comprehensive approach includes proper em-

ployee education, the use of secure communication channels, data loss safety nets, and compliance with the latest regulatory requirements. And while this remains easier said than done, the best first steps are baby steps. Look at your current security measures and slowly (but surely) bolster them. Your company’s reputation, resources, and customer trust depend on it.

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.