The 3 Cybersecurity Challenges of Remote Working

24 September 2020 | Posted by Josh Paine

Remote working has seen unprecedented adoption in the wake of mass lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. While this shift creates significant challenges for IT infrastructure, bandwidth capacity, and connectivity, it’s also creating challenges for security teams as they implement remote work operations on a global scale.

And as research suggests that 84% of businesses are expected to continue remote working and even increase capacity in the coming months, it's up to enterprises to ensure that their teams remain protected while working away from the office. 

To remain secure, enterprises should look for managed mobility services (MMS) to manage large-scale deployments, ensure device security, and protect endpoints from cyber attacks. 

Download the '2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services,  Global' to see how MMS vendors compare in 2020

The Cybersecurity Challenges of Remote Working

As teams become more decentralized, it's harder to manage endpoint security, disparate Wi-Fi systems, and personal devices, which puts employees at a higher risk of data breaches in the form of insecure passwords, phishing scams, and more. 

Here are some of the common dangers of remote working and what enterprises can do to mitigate them.

1. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

Without the native network protections that in-office security provides, teams are more vulnerable to cyber attacks when working remotely.

Home networks normally have weaker protocols which make it easier for hackers to access network traffic.

Likewise, unsecured public networks like those found in cafes offer little to no protection and can easily be compromised if used carelessly.

2. Using Personal Devices

For many remote workers, using their own personal devices may seem like an attractive, easy option. And the popularity of BYOD programs is testament to how beneficial this can be for end-users and employers. 

However, without proper education, software security, and management, you open the door to potential risks like phishing scams, easily hackable passwords, and data breaches. This can lead to the accidental download of harmful malware or to hackers accessing sensitive company data.  

3. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks top the list for the most prevalent cause of data breaches. Simply clicking a malicious link, suspect email, or hidden attachment can provide a hacker access to an employees' device. 

Without proper guidance on what to be wary of, it's easy for employees to slip up and accidentally fall victim to one of these scams. 

How to Address the Security Challenges of Remote Working

To keep employees protected while they're remote working, it's important for enterprises to embrace managed mobility services (MMS) as a viable option to support their remote infrastructure. 

Secure Your Remote Environment 

To ensure continued security, you should educate your teams on the dangers of accessing unsecured Wi-Fi networks. And offer guidance on securing their remote environment, especially if they're accessing corporate data. 

This includes banning the use of public networks and requiring the use of a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will provide end-to-end encryption and will shield IP addresses, which will increase security on all connections away from the office. 

Endpoint Protection

Keeping devices up-to-date with the latest software, patches, and updates will reduce the risk of security breaches. Likewise, multi-factor authentication and secure passwords will shield company data and keep endpoints safe.

This is made easier with unified endpoint management (UEM), as this allows enterprises to create a secure device ecosystem, ensuring all devices adhere to the same security policy.

Managed UEM also lets businesses manage their devices from one centralized location, which improves visibility, allowing for better control over devices while teams are remote working. 

Continued Education

To support remote working for the future, enterprises need robust remote access policies that educate teams on security risks and how their actions can affect company network security. 

Employers should look to establish training on security best practices and guidance on using relevant remote working tools. IT teams should also be proactive with monitoring threats and bringing in new security protocols when necessary. 

Stay Secure While Remote Working

With remote working ramping up faster than ever, ensuring your existing infrastructure can cope with growing security demands is ever-more pertinent.

With managed mobility services, you can improve security across your entire device ecosystem and protect all endpoints, while still giving employees the freedom the work how they want. 

If your enterprise is looking to expand its remote working capacity, then this level of security and support is more important than ever. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services

Get regular Telecom roundups direct to your inbox.