The Security Threats Associated with Remote Work and How to Combat Them

In our last post, we talked about the importance of cybersecurity awareness training. Humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity, and hackers are smart enough to target that weakness. Almost all cyberattacks involve some human error, such as clicking a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment. Security awareness training helps users recognize these threats and promotes best practices that users should follow.

The shift to remote work has made such training imperative. The Cybersecurity Insider 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report Insider found that work-from-home employees are using their company-issued laptops for both personal and company activities. This increases the risk of “drive-by downloads” — attacks that install malicious software without the user’s consent. The report also found that users are more susceptible to phishing attacks when working remotely.

But training is just one element of a remote work security strategy. Organizations need an end-to-end approach that addresses the full range of threats that target work-from-home users. Unfortunately, just 30 percent of organizations were fully prepared to secure a remote workforce, according to the Cybersecurity Insider report.

Survey respondents said their biggest remote work security concerns are:

Data leaking through endpoints (27 percent)
Loss of visibility into user activity (25 percent)
Maintaining regulatory compliance (24 percent)
Remote access to IT resources (23 percent)
Remote access to core business apps (18 percent)
SSD is here to help you overcome these challenges. Through our Assurance program, we deliver a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity solutions and services that help to protect your business from threats associated with remote work. Some of our offerings include:

Assessments. Our experts will perform a thorough assessment of your IT environment to identify any potential security gaps. We will also conduct scans to detect vulnerabilities in your hardware and software. A baseline assessment of your security posture will enable you to make informed decisions about security investments.

Encryption. By encrypting your data, you can protect it from unauthorized exposure in the event of a security breach. Data loss prevention solutions can help minimize the risk of data leakage by preventing sensitive information from leaving the company via email, and preventing users from downloading or copying data onto unsecured endpoints. Both encryption and DLP can help you maintain compliance with government and industry regulations and increasingly stringent privacy laws.

Monitoring. Ongoing monitoring of your IT environment is a core component of our Assurance program. By keeping an eye on your systems, SSD can detect unusual activity that could point to a security threat. We also maintain your systems with the latest security patches and updates to minimize vulnerabilities.

Network security. When employees access company IT resources remotely, a single compromised device could cause a devastating security breach. We can help you implement a multilayered security solution that incorporates next-generation firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, email and web content filtering, and other essential controls.

Policy development and maintenance. In the June 2020 Work from Home Study by IBM Security, more than half of respondents said they had not been given any new security policies governing remote work. SSD can help you develop or update your policies and procedures so that employees understand how they should use conferencing and collaboration apps, mobile devices and other work-from-home tools.

The rapid shift to remote work has exposed security vulnerabilities that put organizations at risk. Let SSD help you close these gaps with our expert security solutions and services.