The Top Three Cybersecurity Risks for Remote Workplaces

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As the new norms of work begin to emerge, most organisations are erring on the side of caution and intend to maintain remote workplaces for an extended time. Many companies that have achieved efficiency gains and cost savings through remote work are also considering a more permanent change to keep workers at home. A Gartner CFO survey conducted in March revealed that 74 per cent of companies expect at least five per cent or more of their former office-based employees to work from home permanently.  As employees become more comfortable with remote workplace tools, and organisations rapidly increase their investments in cloud and software-as-a-service infrastructure, cyber-criminals are ramping up their activities to specifically target remote workers.

There are three key cyber-security risks that both public and private sector organisations must address as they move more employees to remote work:

Email scams
The Australian government’s Scamwatch has received more than 2,000 coronavirus-related scam reports with over $700,000 in reported losses since the pandemic began. Many scams specifically target remote workers with what appear to be legitimate emails, which instead contain malicious links and attachments. Once an employee clicks on a malicious link, the scammer can access their device, along with any business applications contained on that device. Nexon Asia Pacific has an email security solution that counters these risks by providing protection against viruses, spam and phishing. The solution dynamically analyses links and attachments for known threats, provides social media account protection, and prevents data loss and data leakage to maintain corporate security.

Unauthorised access to company data and applications
Organisations expose themselves to greater risk of unauthorised access to data and applications when employees sit outside of the organisational firewall.

In contrast to the office environment, where IT managers can control the security of all wireless networks, home networks have weaker security protocols, which can provide easy access for hackers. To reduce the risk of unauthorised access to data and applications in a remote environment, organisations must ensure appropriate encryption and authentication processes are in place and that workers have up-to-date cybersecurity training. Perimeter security should also align with the remote or hybrid office/remote workplace environment. Look for a solution that consists of a scalable, web application firewall, and machine learning for maximum protection.

Nexon Asia Pacific offers a comprehensive suite of perimeter security solutions that include: next-generation firewall and advanced threat protection; increased visibility into applications, users and content; web portal management and content filtering; and secure remote access so that your team can access what they need when they need it without risking the organisation’s intellectual property.

In the emergency response to the recent pandemic, most organisations didn’t have the chance to set up workers on company-owned devices. This means that many employees are working on their own desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, which may be connected to other applications in the home through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ideally, employees should be restricted to the use of company devices only so that the IT team can optimise software to the individual user and ensure only one gateway to the organisation’s confidential information. However, this is not always possible in a cloud-based environment, particularly when employees also want to access work applications through personal mobile devices.
This is why cloud security is becoming increasingly crucial as organisations move more of their shared applications to the cloud.

Partnering with a qualified cloud security solutions provider such as Nexon Asia Pacific can reduce the risk and cost for organisations that are trying to manage their new hybrid on-site/remote business model.

To learn more about how organisations are adapting in the new business environment, read more about the Nexon and Fortinet business response series here

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