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Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Work & Virtual Offices

With the flurry of return-to-work mandates hitting offices around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work forever. Despite this, many businesses still prefer to maintain a remote or hybrid approach to work.

Choosing this path has a variety of benefits, but there are also a number of risks to consider. Here are some best practices you can follow as a remote worker or someone who makes use of virtual offices.

Common Cybersecurity Risks

Remote work and the systems needed to facilitate it were developed exponentially quicker as a result of the lockdowns in South Africa. Anyone connecting to your organisation’s network from outside of your office could pose a security risk. Here are 8 of the most common ones:

Unsecured Endpoints

Many organisations have implemented a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. Although beneficial, it means that these personal devices may present a security risk to the business.

Vulnerable Networks

It is easy to implement policies and network security at an office, but it can be significantly harder to do so for every remote employee. Public Wi-Fi networks also increase cybersecurity risk.

Weak Passwords

Lack of Multi-Factor Authentication or MFA in combination with weak passwords is one of the easiest ways for malicious actors to gain access to your intranet via remote workers.

Remote Desktop Security

IT teams often make use of remote-desktop protocols to troubleshoot and fix staff workstations. If unsecure, these can pose a serious threat.  

Phishing Susceptibility

Having colleagues around is handy for verifying the integrity of emails and messages. Remote workers may be more susceptible to phishing and social engineering attempts.

Data Regulation Compliance

Information transfer between remote workers tends to be more roundabout when compared to those in-office. This means that additional measures are required to ensure data law compliance.

Expanded Attack Surface

Remote work is typically associated with more endpoint devices. This adds another layer of security that IT and security teams need to implement. The larger your attack surface, the higher the chance of being breached.

Improving Your Virtual Office Security

There is a plethora of information around cybersecurity best-practices for improving the security of your remote workers or virtual offices. These are 5 of the most basic ones:

1. Conduct regular staff awareness training.

2. Implement a robust cybersecurity policy.

3. Enforce good password management habits.

4. Keep your anti-virus up to date.

5. Develop an incident response plan.

Benefits of a Strong Cybersecurity Framework

Malicious actors aren’t as dramatic as Hollywood makes them out to be. 98% of all cybersecurity attacks have some level of social engineering involved (typically just a poorly written email), which means you can drastically reduce your organisation’s risk by having a strong cybersecurity framework.

If most breaches happen as a result of staff clicking a suspicious link, then you can lower the chance of being persecuted by the Information Regulator as a result of POPIA violations by conducting regular staff awareness training.

Another important consideration is the reputational damage to your business and its brand should a breach occur, not to mention the productivity lost when hardware has to go offline to be remediated.

Reliable IT Support Included at Infinity

If all of this feels a bit overwhelming then don’t worry, Infinity Serviced Offices offers comprehensive IT support. So, that when turning it off and on again doesn’t work, you have someone right there to assist you.

All workspace rentals include basic IT support to help you with everything from connecting to the Wi-Fi and sorting out issues with the printer to providing a safe and reliable place to work.