How does remote working impact cybersecurity? And what practices might pose a risk to companies whose employees are working from home? A new survey from CyberArk sought to uncover those answers, and the results might surprise you. More to the point, these discoveries can help you hone your cybersecurity strategy in our rapidly changing business world.

How are employees accessing the internet? The survey found that

  • 77 percent of remote employees are using unmanaged, non-secured devices (“BYOD” or Bring Your Own Device)
  • 66 percent of remote employees are utilizing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which can be helpful but have recently reported security vulnerabilities

In addition, convenience often appears to outweigh security. CyberArk found that remote workers tended to become a bit sloppy with regard to security, exhibiting some concerning habits, such as…

  • 93 percent reuse the same password for a variety of devices and applications
  • 29 percent allow family members to use their devices (remember, BYOD) for activities such as online shopping, homework, and games
  • 37 percent are saving work-related passwords in their browsers

While these findings seem a bit concerning, there is no reason to rush to judgement. Remote working can work well, and be very safe, but the shift to a different work environment does require a revamping of internet security protocol.

You will notice that while the above habits do present some amount of risk to security, they are also relatively simple to change. These practices seem related to convenience, but replacing them with safer behaviors should not pose a significant challenge.

Review cybersecurity protocol with any employees who report remotely, and remind them of simple safety standards such as…

  • Don’t save passwords in browsers
  • Create original passwords for each account or device, and store them securely
  • Install security patches immediately when prompted to do so, especially for third-party applications such as Zoom
  • Use a secure internet connection only
  • Use a dedicated work device, and don’t allow anyone else to access it (some employers might consider issuing such devices themselves)

If you have questions about making remote work safer for your business, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH. We can help you review your equipment and policies.