Cyber threats have always been natural components of any modern workspace, however, working remotely due to COVID-19, or for any reason, deepens a worker’s exposure to cyber threats as all work must be done online.
Although these security threats have always been danger factors, it is likely that you are not familiar with how much risk you face. Let’s take a look at the six most common cyber threats remote workers encounter.
1. Lost or Stolen Laptop
Having sensitive information on a laptop about your work or personal life can simply not be avoided.
In order to protect their workers, many companies apply WFH (Work from Home) restriction policies, in which employers ask their employees to not use public places to access the internet while working – if it can be avoided.
While these types of policies don’t necessarily eliminate the risk of having your equipment stolen, risk is significantly reduced as the workers are less exposed.
2. Data Leaks
There are too many ways in which data can be leaked, whether it be through hacking or as a complete accident. It happens more often than not that users put themselves at risk of leaking information by working in public spaces.
This is another reason why WFH policies are so important to implement. Sometimes leaking information happens as easily as someone looking over your shoulder. Sharing sensitive information via cloud-based platforms can also be confusing and the wrong users can easily be added accidentally providing incorrect file access.
3. Unauthorised Data Access
Hackers and attackers will take advantage of the fact that remote workers need to have access to sensitive data in a more open manner. Sharing this sort of information exposes workers’ accounts to being hacked.
Whether it’s Slack, Skype, BYOD Smartphones or other commonly used programs and devices, companies are being asked constantly by employees to provide more open access and ways of connecting and doing work.
4. Availability Brings More Attacks
Since the surge of COVID-19, internet traffic has increased significantly. The need for remote-access solutions, has brought on the need to use many networking tools.
The more tools that are used, the more exposed a worker is to being hacked. Putting tools aside, the longer a person is available online, the longer they are at risk.
The length of internet use increases the time in which anyone can be targeted for a hack. With more time available online, hackers have a much bigger chance of being successful at accessing their target.
5. Stolen User Logins
As you can see, hacking is a pattern when it comes to online security. One of the worse outcomes of being hacked is having user credentials leaked or stolen. With any type of credentials, hackers have the holy grail to access all types of sensible data.
6. Phishing (Fake Emails)
Last but not least, and possibly the most pervasive of all security threats is phishing. With fewer security protocols being applied to remote workers in order to facilitate jobs, employees run a higher risk of trusting phishing e-mails and sharing sensitive corporate information, such as login information, passwords, personal information and even security credentials.
While these are not the only cyber threats that can be found, they are the most likely to target a remote worker. Consider all of these areas of risk while adjusting to a work-from-home environment and identify which of these threats make you more vulnerable to a security attack.