Remote Work and Cybersecurity during pandemic
Introduction: Remote Work and Security
A surge in pandemic has been forcing employees to work from home time and again. Advancement in Information technology is making companies and offices to utilize human resources without actually being present. As in the context of Nepal, this is a new experience for employees in every sector. Such as, in education, banking, health, corporate, IT companies, or even in the industrial sector. As Working remotely in the IT field especially in the cybersecurity field is a new challenge. Looking at the current scenario, this trend is going to exist for the long term and the importance of remote work and cybersecurity during pandemic is increasing.
Remote working is quite interesting and challenging. In the context of countries like Nepal, where employees have limited resources for remote work, the challenge is even higher. Because of potential security risk is another challenge. Employees may be putting your company’s data at risk. Which can potentially lead to data breaches, identity fraud, and a host of other negative consequences. In a survey of global organization report published in March 2020, the ransomware attacks increased by 148% due to remote working. These attacks are often in the form of messaging, emails or carried out by third-party applications. Therefore, remote work and cybersecurity during pandemic cannot be neglected.
Some of the remote cybersecurity risks are:
- Unencrypted File Sharing
- Weak Passwords
- Phishing Schemes
- Insecure Home Wi-Fi
Unencrypted File Sharing
Employees share many sensitive information on a daily basis. The client information or other confidential information needs to remain secure. Organizations cannot afford these information intercepted by the attacker. Moreover, if such a company’s sensitive information is collected. Then it can lead to ransomware attacks, theft, identity fraud, and many more. These risks are minimized by using cloud services and by using encrypted communication channels.
However, an organization uses firewalls, VPNs, and other cybersecurity software. It is not enough to protect your remote network. However, Human error comes into play when employees safeguard their accounts with weak passwords. Employees may not be much concerned about the password while working from home. But, attackers can get credentials of password through home network they are using. This allows attackers to attack into employee’s system and ask for ransomware. This can contribute to leak of sensitive data of an organization. Irrespective of how the work carried out, It is important to have strong passwords.
The company’s remote staff/employees can be the biggest threat to the companies’ network security. Employees can unknowingly end up giving attackers access to the company’s network and server which puts sensitive data at risk.
The most common cyber threat to remote employees is phishing. Similarly, In Phishing schemes, a person or entity posing as a credible source. They trick a victim into providing personal login credentials or sensitive information over the internet through emails. Attackers find loopholes using this information to get into systems and steal information. Therefore, It is important to train employees working remotely to share information only with credible sources.
Insecure Home Wi-Fi
Many people are not much concerned about the internet network they use. Likewise, many companies have firewalls in their office to monitor network traffic and block malicious activity. Which is not sufficient from the home network.
Moreover, For securing the credentials or sensitive data of any organization these things must be resolved. Even working from home data protection and privacy must be in priority. Employees can regularly change their passwords and make it strong or even use VPN.
In Conclusion, IT infrastructures are helping organizations to carry out their work remotely. However, cybersecurity is a great challenge to deal with. Strengthening cybersecurity to prepare for any kind of pandemic is a must requirement. In Short, the pandemic has made it clear that remote work is not just a necessity but a need.