In 2018, BlueFace predicted that remote work would start competing with office work by 2025. Little did they know that the pandemic would accelerate this process tenfold. Businesses were thrown into the deep end when they had to suddenly switch to a fully remote workforce. While some adapted to the ‘new normal’ by taking immediate measures to deal with the shift, the vast majority were unprepared to manage such an enormous transformation.
Amid this chaos, a host of challenges emerged, with the biggest being the unprecedented surge in cyberattacks. Cybercriminals caught businesses in a state of panic and exploited their lack of preparedness to wreak havoc worldwide. A survey by Barracuda found that 46 percent of global businesses encountered at least one cybersecurity scare since moving to a remote working model during the lockdown.
With today’s decentralized work environments here to stay, it is imperative that you act proactively towards securing your business’ data from unauthorized access, accidental loss and willful destruction.
Due to the threats emerging as a result of remote work, businesses need to avail enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. Here’s why.
5 Reasons Why Your Remote Workforce Is a Prime Target
Remote work is making businesses uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, with the additional strain of the pandemic, the stakes have been raised significantly. Here are five reasons that your remote workforce is a prime target for cybercriminals.
- Unsafe Home Networks: It goes without saying that remote workers logging in from their home networks pose a greater threat than on-site workers using their company’s secured network. Despite being aware of this quite obvious vulnerability, most businesses still tend to invest heavily on on-site security while cutting corners when it comes to securing remote work.
- Extended Vulnerabilities: When a major chunk of work happens over the internet, it opens up a Pandora’s box of threats targeting web services and applications. The greater the number of threats, the higher the possibility of at least one threat penetrating the limited barriers securing remote work.
- Challenges With Remediation: Infected or vulnerable machines need immediate technician attention, which is easy to accomplish in a conventional office environment. However, carrying out remediation efforts on remote endpoints presents a significant challenge in terms of remote work security being compromised.
- Limited Security: Most cybersecurity solutions don’t do as good a job of securing remote endpoints as they do with in-house assets. This leaves the safety of remote devices, especially personal/BYOD devices, in the lurch.
- Isolated Devices: Devices that have been updated with standard security settings that apply to all IT assets of a business are less vulnerable to security lapses. However, personal devices of employees used for company work do not hold the same security safeguards, making them an easy target.
Now that we have established why your remote workforce needs adequate protection, let’s find out what measures you can take to achieve it.
Securing Your Remote Workforce Promptly
The longer you take to secure your remote workforce, the more you jeopardize the safety of your business’ mission-critical data.
Here’s a list of measures you must undertake immediately to secure your company data:
- Cloud-Based Backup and Recovery: While managing an increasingly remote workforce, you must turn to a robust and reliable cloud backup platform that allows you to efficiently back up endpoint and cloud data (such as Microsoft 365 emails and SharePoint) and recover it whenever needed.
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR): Formulate a comprehensive BCDR strategy immediately to ensure no incident grinds your business to a halt for a long time. Please remember to recalculate and revise your recovery objectives, given how remote work is now normalized.
- Regular Recovery Testing: Implement a strategy to regularly test data recovery to ensure your data recovery solution does not give way when you need it the most.
- Safeguarding SaaS Data: Most businesses do not implement a strategy for securing SaaS (Software as a Service) data since they simply assume SaaS platforms secure it anyway. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Your SaaS data is your responsibility, especially when most of your workforce is going to rely on SaaS applications while working remotely. While building a policy for it, you must also consider optimizing the storage for each user to ensure no data gets lost in transit.
- Awareness Training: 51 percent of businesses that responded to the Barracuda survey admitted that their workforce wasn’t proficient enough or properly trained on cybersecurity risks associated with remote work. You must assess if this is also the case at your business and immediately come up with a strategy to rectify it. The more aware your employees are, the more diligently they will follow backup policies.
- Ongoing Risk Management: Consider it a top priority to assess the potential risks your network and backed up data is exposed to. Without this, any corrective action would seem futile. This will help you address your backup needs as soon as they emerge.
Undertaking these measures will not only tighten the security of your data but also help your business demonstrate compliance with data protection regulations that are applicable to your industry.
Tackling remote work-related threats and securing your business data isn’t as taxing as it seems when you have the right assistance and backing. We’d love to partner with you to not only make the world a better place, but to help you with your remote workforce security, productivity, and business planning. Contact us today to learn more!