Remote work is here — whether we like it or not — thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic faced globally. Many companies are now implementing voluntary or mandatory work-from-home policies, which is an unusual challenge for first-time remote workers.
It’s even more challenging for companies because of growing concerns about how to maintain security when employees work remotely. Cybersecurity awareness training for your employee is highly recommended.
The best way to maintain strong cybersecurity best practices is through employee training. Your employees will get the needed education to be able safeguard data better. Your IT team will also become more responsive to threats. Read on to learn why your remote workers need cybersecurity training.
How Important is Cybersecurity Training to Remote Work?
Hey, remote work is already on the climb if you didn’t know! Global Workplace Analytics shows that before COVID-19, 4.7 million people were already working remotely in the US.
Many companies are already involved in remote work by actively encouraging their employees to work from home if possible.
It’s crucial for your organization to adapt to the current business landscape by allowing your employees to work from home. Yet remote work comes with its own problems that should be addressed before work away from the office starts.
As your organization embraces home offices in the wake of the COVID pandemic, remote work by employees may put your company at a higher risk of cyber-attacks. Some of these cyber-attacks are phishing, malware, or impersonation attacks where a malicious actor pretends to be a high-level employee, like your company’s CEO, in order to request payments or have access to important documents. Considering the current global crisis and the increase in the level of threats to valuable data, cybersecurity training for employees now needs more attention.
Employees are sometimes prone to making cybersecurity errors that have devastating consequences. Even in highly supervised office IT environments, some still fall prey to cyber-attacks. According to OpenVPN, 36 percent of remote workers were responsible for security incidents as surveyed in a March 2019 poll using 250 IT leaders. Also, 54 percent of respondents said remote workers posed a greater security risk than office staff.
Cybersecurity Issues with Remote Work
Your company may function with a fully remote workforce or employees who work from home. But without a doubt, it’s more demanding to take care of their security than it’s to manage your on-site workforce. Your remote workers may be engaging in some poor habits that put your organization at risk. Some of these activities include:
Accessing sensitive data through unsafe Wi-Fi networks
Connecting their devices to their home wireless network or accessing important databases by using an unsecured public Wi-Fi is dangerous. This way, cyber-criminals who are nearby can easily pick up your connection and spy on every activity and harvest confidential information without suspecting.
For instance, data sent in an unencrypted form as plain text might be intercepted and stolen by cyber-criminals. For this reason, your employees should avoid using any wifi networks unless they are using a VPN connection to get access.
Using personal devices for work
Cisco, in a study, said six percent of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home, which is a worrisome practice. However, this has morphed into a trend in the modern-day working environment whereby companies allow employees to use their personal devices at work, commonly referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD policy. It’s fast becoming a generally accepted policy. You need to be fully aware of the issues involved when employees use their personal devices for work-related matters.
Furthermore, employees may not be keeping their computer software up-to-date, which exposes security holes in your company. It’s advisable to reduce the usage of personal devices for work but if unavoidable, every cybersecurity best practice should be put in place.
Neglecting basic physical security measures in public places
Cybersecurity goes beyond ensuring safety for network defenses on your devices to serious concerns about handling vital even in offline environments.
For instance, an employee while speaking with a company’s head may be speaking loud, divulging sensitive information to the public. Some employees even leave their laptops open and unattended to or leave the screen exposed with critical information left on the screen.
It’s pertinent that your company teaches its employees even the most basic security measures. Proper education will save the company a future of cyber-attacks.
Why You Should Train Your Employees
Employee training is a simple way to educate your staff on how to maintain security when your employee works remotely. Research by TechRadar shows that human errors are responsible for more than 90 percent of data breaches. If your employees don’t know how to recognize a security threat, knowing how to intercept or remove the threat becomes a bigger problem.
Training and education designed to create a security-focused professional culture is the best way to protect your business. Some of the reasons why your remote workforce needs cybersecurity training are:
Cybersecurity training makes your company more secure from threats. Enlightening your team on the many cyber-threats that exist will keep them from making human errors that could threaten the safety and progress of your organization.
If cybersecurity training isn’t put in place as a preventative measure, you risk experiencing significant damages to your business. You risk loss of confidential client data, identity theft, defacement of websites, a decline in consumer confidence, fines, lawsuits, damaged reputation, or even bankruptcy.
An uninformed team is an easy target for cyber-criminals lurking in the corner. A lot can stem from an employee leaving devices unattended to in a public place or just checking their email on a smartphone while using a public Wi-Fi network.
Boost employee’s confidence and reduce stress
A Kaspersky Lab study found out that 69 percent of people feel anxious and stressed by data breach news. Educating employees about the latest threat intelligence and attack methods will help militate against anxiety caused by cybersecurity uncertainty. This makes them more comfortable and relaxed while working, which aids productivity and helps prevent costly data security mistakes.
Employees who feel confident and empowered through training and established security protocols are less likely to make mistakes that may allow a data breach. Awareness campaigns and regular cybersecurity training allow you to track the progress of employees and identify any individual who may require additional training.
Saves time and money
There’s no better monetary investment to make for your team than an investment in cybersecurity training. In the United States, it’s estimated that a single cyber-attack could cost a company $15.4 million dollars. Therefore, the cost of paying for excellent cybersecurity training is worth it if it prevents even a single attack.
The same goes for the time spent. An attack on your defenses could cost your team a significant amount of energy attempting to fight against the attack. The time expended to rectify the security breach could be much better spent conducting other functions of the business.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. All employees and employers have to protect their company’s network and data and be responsible. Take preventative action and protect yourself and your clients from potential cybersecurity breaches today.
RSI Security is a leading managed security service provider (MSSP) that specializes in mitigating advanced threats on your network. Our managed security services include managed detection and response, malware remediation, software patch management, vulnerability assessment and management, penetration testing, endpoint security management, and many more.
Ever-evolving threats of information security breaches demand smarter and more responsive managed security services. We can help relieve the burden of security monitoring. We can also help train your remote workforce on important cybersecurity measures against malicious threats. Take a step today towards neutralizing the more sophisticated security threats that your business might be facing right now.