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Cyber security best practices for remote workers

Though remote working has its many benefits, it does, unfortunately, go hand in hand with the increased risk of security breaches. With reports that nearly half (46%) of companies plan to implement a flexible, hybrid workforce in the future, it’s time to put our cyber habits under the microscope.

Cybercriminals will continue to hack, regardless. To them, every moment matters, whether we’ve suffered enough during the pandemic or not. The pandemic saw cloud-based systems for staff collaboration adopted en masse leaving many businesses vulnerable to attack from opportunistic cybercriminals that sought to target remote workers.

The rushed adjustment to new ways of working may have caused employees and organisations to overlook existing cyber security processes. And whilst having increased system vulnerabilities is worrying, it doesn’t mean that we’re all bound to fall victim to attack. It is avoidable and can be prevented. By adopting cyber security best practices, businesses can reduce, or even eliminate, the threat of an attack altogether.

Research shows that 55% of companies believe digital transformation will have the largest impact on workplace transformation, with 67% of companies stating that cyber security and data security is the highest priority. (Source: Infosys Knowledge Institute)

What is good cyber hygiene and why is it important for businesses?

Cyber hygiene relates to the processes and precautions that businesses take with the aim of protecting critical IT systems and keeping confidential data secure from external threats. By implementing good cyber hygiene, businesses are more capable of warding off system deterioration and avoiding security risks. Personal and business data will be kept safe by following best practices, by preventing malware, ransom, phishing attacks and more from breaching networks and devices. Maintaining good cyber hygiene also aids the maintenance of device functionality by reducing exposure to outside risks that could hinder performance.

But these processes and precautions don’t just consist of completing a few tasks or ticking multiple boxes – they form part of an ongoing routine that businesses should regularly adhere to. Having these procedures in place is highly beneficial for two main reasons: maintenance and security.

How staff and businesses can protect themselves remotely

Implementing cyber security best practices amongst your business and remote workers is much easier when you have an effective plan in place. These plans and processes can include, or be supported by sharing additional guidance material to keep online activity in check. For example, this could include privacy policies, support guides and most importantly, education and training.

Prior to drawing up cyber plans, businesses need to lay down the foundations of maintenance and security best practices for all employees to follow. It is the group effort that’ll make the difference in working together to safeguard the business as a whole.

Performing regular maintenance

If there’s a missing link in your IT software or systems, hackers will be sure to find it and take full advantage. Businesses will need to perform regular maintenance on their digital technologies to avoid this. This will ensure that IT software and systems are kept secure and stable, with the ability to operate effectively. Basic IT maintenance involves:

  • Performing updates – Often built into computer operating systems, undertaking regular updates is easy. In doing so, the software is kept up to date, improvements are made to computer security and any bugs are fixed. These updates will protect your computer and data from system issues and cyber security threats.
  • Installing antivirus software – If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea for employers to invest in antivirus software for staff devices. It just takes one click from an unsafe website for malware to be deployed onto your system. Perform regular scans to make sure your computer is running properly and data is kept safe.
  • Managing disk space – Software will stop working if your computer’s hard disk fills up. To avoid this and free up space, you can uninstall programs you no longer use and delete files you don’t need. Be sure to also clear up your recycle bin, where files go before they are removed from your device permanently.
  • Enabling backup and recovery – The last thing you want to happen is for important data to be lost entirely, or worse, stolen by hackers. External hard drives are a good way to store excess files in case of a breach. Make use of your Mac or PC internal backup software to protect your files. With cloud systems, work is backed up automatically.
  • Updating system patches – Patches are conducted to repair vulnerabilities or flaws within system versions, upgrades and features. These solutions are an investment that all businesses running large systems with lots of applications should consider, as patch management will scan, detect and fix errors to improve cyber health.
Enhancing security measures

Whilst predicting and preparing for future threats is difficult, by implementing enhanced security measures your business won’t be constantly on the lookout. By adopting security best practices, company devices and systems will remain protected. These top tips can also be applied to reflect our everyday digital habits and personal use of devices. To be smarter with security, we can adopt the following best practices:


  • Creating strong passwords – If a similar username and password combinations are used across different sites, this is an easy way for hackers to steal your information. By making sure each password is unique and difficult to crack, you can easily eliminate the risk of a data breach. Many sites now aid the creation of strong passwords by suggesting the use of at least 8 characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. To help keep track of these passwords you can use a Password Manager.
  • Avoiding phishing – Staff should remain vigilant for phishing scams that distribute information from what appear to be legitimate sources in an attempt to steal your sensitive information, credentials or data. These can come in many forms – websites, adverts, texts, phone calls and emails. With just one click, malware can be automatically downloaded and installed onto your software, or by inputting your details, identity theft can be committed.
  • Using two-factor authentication – Though it can be a pain and slow login time, two-factor authentication creates an added layer of security by verifying your identity in at least two different forms. These include something you are (biometric recognition), something you know (password) and something you have (mobile phone). You’ll receive notifications of these login requests which helps in identifying if someone is trying to wrongly access your account or software.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) – By adopting this framework, businesses will be armed with the ability to identify users, authenticate said identities and authorise the appropriate access. Having IAM policies and procedures in place will help to avoid identity theft and granting wrongful access to sensitive information. Find out more about IAM in our recent blog.
  • Connecting to Wi-Fi networks cautiously – With remote working, it may be the case that you’ll be working away from the office or home environment from time to time. In this instance, it’s important to ensure you aren’t connecting to unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks as this will make it easier for cybercriminals to access your information.


Our solution

If you’re unsure how to get started, but want to ensure your remote staff and business assets are protected, we can help you to set the wheels in motion. Navigate the hostile threat landscape with support from our experts at Infosec K2K who’ll work closely with your IT teams to implement an effective cyber security plan that’ll help keep your hybrid workforce safe.

By keeping threats under control and data secure, your business operations can run smoothly under the guidance of our Security Operations Centre (SOC) that can identify potential system weak spots that could be vulnerable to attack. Our portfolio of solutions can support you at every stage of your cyber security journey, whether you’re going through a digital transformation, already have some solutions in place, or you’ve just been the subject of a recent cyber attack.

Discover more about how our expert solutions at Infosec K2K can keep your remote workers safe and protect what’s most important to your business. Get in touch now!

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