What are the risks of remote working?
Remote working has opened many doors and avenues for businesses to be able to trade, however it does not come without its risks. Working from home or from remote locations can lead to data breaches, identify fraud, ransomware attacks and other negative
Take a look at some of the biggest risks and learn how you can make simple changes to mitigate against those risks.
Unsupported devices and weak security
Weak security or unsupported networks can leave the door open to threats like ‘Ransomware’, which allows a hacker to break into your network, encrypt your files, then demand payment before you can get them back.
Some of the most vulnerable targets for hackers are social media accounts, bank details, personal mail and online shopping details.
The loss or theft of sensitive information (bank details, client details, login information)
When a cyber-attack takes place, more often than not the intention of the attack is to steel a business’s financial detail, customer financial details, sensitive personal data, customers’ or staff email addresses and login credentials client lists, IT infrastructure, IT services (for example the ability to accept online payments) or intellectual property.
The use of public wi-fi
Using public wi-fi presents a tremendous number of cyber security risks to those that use it, this is often down to security on these networks being non-existent or very poor.
Nobody likes a snooper, especially not a cyber snooper who is deliberately eavesdropping on a public wi-fi router. Wi-fi scooping does what it says on the tin, cybercriminals will buy special software kits to help them access everything that you are doing online. This includes viewing the webpages you have been browsing and capturing your login details which then can lead them to hijack your accounts.
Duplicate and malicious hotspots
Often, cybercriminals will set up a malicious hotspot that is designed to trick victims into connecting to a ‘legitimate’ network. For example, the wi-fi name for the hotel may be SweetDreamsHotel but there is also a network listed called DreamsSweetHotel which you think is the same wi-fi.
However, it turns out that you have just connected to a rogue hotspot set up by cybercriminals who can now view your sensitive information.
Regardless of the device and who owns that device, you should never leave a device unsecured when it is not in use.
Opportunity makes the thief pertinent when it comes to unsecured devices, a report found that 81% of office employees have access to documents containing sensitive information and leaving your computer unlocked is an easy way for unauthorised access to be gained to these documents.
If you are not using your device, it should always be locked in order to help protect the documents, client information or financial records that are on it.
With remote working one of the many challenges that freelancers, contractors and consultants face is being able to hold private calls and conversations. If you occasionally work from coffee shops or hotel restaurants and take work calls whilst you are there, have you ever considered what information you could be exposing whilst you have this call?
Think about where you are when you are taking calls and consider who may be listening before talking about anything confidential.
The hybrid working switch risk
In the last two years, businesses have been thrown into remote working models that have been full time remote and a hybrid between remote and office working. Each brings its own risk to the individual's and companies' cyber security.
The more locations that an employee works from, the more vulnerable a business’s network becomes. If you are an organisation that is welcoming the hybrid model, it’s key that you run security scans for all devices and review all applications to ensure that they are safe.