Working remotely is now a common practice globally, offering numerous benefits for both employees and employers. With the rise of globalization, employees often find themselves facing Remote Working Security Risks and threats while traveling and working from various locations worldwide. Currently, 70% of people work remotely at least once a week, and 53% work remotely for at least half of the week. While remote work brings convenience, it also introduces security risks, especially with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether employees use their own personal devices (What is BYOD?) or company-issued devices, the Remote Working Security Risks multiply when they connect non-company peripherals to the network.
Rogue Devices, often associated with Remote Working Security Risks and threats, such as spoofed peripherals and network implants, have become the weapon of choice for malicious actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities. These devices can disseminate malware, perform attacks, and lead to data breaches, with long-lasting consequences for organizations (Hacked Device).
Remote Working Security Risks Key Findings
- 70% of people work remotely at least once a week.
- 53% of people work remotely for at least half of the week.
- Careless/uninformed staff cause 25% of all cyberattacks.
- Rogue Devices are becoming an increasingly popular attack tool.
- A Remote Work Policy is essential.
- Company-issued devices will be more beneficial for organizations.
- Rogue Device Mitigation is imperative.
Addressing Remote Working Security Risks and Data Breaches
Working remotely means employees often have company data on their devices, making them potential targets for Remote Working Security Risks and threats. Around 50% of businesses worldwide are concerned about employees inappropriately sharing company data via personal devices. Additionally, 54% of businesses have experienced data exposure due to lost devices containing sensitive information. Lost devices pose a significant security risk, as hackers can easily bypass passwords and exploit Rogue Devices to access the stolen or lost device’s data. Furthermore, working on public WiFi hotspots can expose information to unsecured networks, magnifying the scope of Remote Working Security Risks (Cybersecurity Risk Management).
Using personal devices for remote work poses security challenges, as they often lack the necessary security measures to protect against corporate data breaches and network intrusions. Personal devices are appealing targets for attackers, with 50% of companies that allow BYOD experiencing breaches through employee-owned devices. Personal devices may have poor authentication measures, relying on single-factor passwords that are easily cracked. Rogue Devices can exploit these weaknesses, including keylogging and bypassing biometric authentication.
Careless and uninformed staff contribute to a quarter of all cybersecurity attacks, and remote work increases the chances of such incidents. Employees may unknowingly connect rogue devices, such as manipulated USB devices, to their devices without realizing the risks (Human Factors in Cybersecurity).
Connecting to public WiFi hotspots or using public charging kiosks can expose employees to compromised routers or manipulated chargers. Social engineering attacks can also target remote employees, with bad actors providing malicious peripherals or exploiting their trust.
Strategies to Lower the Remote Working Security Risks
Establish a Remote Working Security Risks Policy
Create a comprehensive Remote Work Policy that clearly defines how employees can work remotely, including any BYOD policies or restrictions. Involve stakeholders to ensure alignment with company interests and maximum efficiency.
Implement the Principle of Least Privilege
Give employees access only to the data necessary for their job responsibilities, reducing the amount of sensitive data on their devices and minimizing the risk of data theft.
Adopt Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Embrace the principle of “never trust, always verify” by implementing Zero Trust Network Access. Grant access based on a “need-to-know” basis and define granular policies. Zero trust access prevents lateral movements and complicates attacks by not automatically trusting any device or network.
Keep Anti-Malware Software Updated
Regularly update anti-malware software to detect and protect against known malware threats. This ensures comprehensive coverage and guards against potential attacks facilitated by rogue devices.
Utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Use VPNs to establish encrypted connections between employees’ devices and the internet. VPNs protect data transmitted over public WiFi networks and provide defense against network implants and eavesdropping.
Regularly patch vulnerabilities in software and systems to prevent exploitation by cyber attackers. Identify and address vulnerabilities promptly, ensuring that patched updates are assessed for efficacy and potential new risks.
Enhance Authentication Measures
Promote the use of strong authentication methods such as biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition). Encourage employees to leverage native security features on their devices and adopt multi-factor authentication for added security.
Implement Remote Wiping Capability
Enforce a policy that allows for remote wiping of lost or stolen devices. This ensures that sensitive information is not accessible to malicious actors and minimizes potential damage. Back up wiped data remotely to prevent permanent loss.
If employees use personal devices for remote work, consider containerization to create protected areas on the devices. Use separate passwords and policies to isolate and regulate specific files, folders, and applications, enhancing security.
Invest in Employee Education and Training
Provide comprehensive education and training to employees on cybersecurity best practices, including social engineering awareness and the risks associated with connecting peripherals. Emphasize purchasing peripherals from reputable sources and discourage sharing work devices.
Use Company-Issued Devices
Consider providing company-issued devices to employees, ensuring full control over security measures and consistent security features across devices. Implement additional security measures such as data encryption, antivirus software, and device management.
Implement Rogue Device Mitigation Software
Deploy a Rogue Device Mitigation software solution that can detect and prevent attacks from rogue devices. Sepio is a leader in this field, offering solutions that protect both endpoints and networks by identifying and handling all connected peripherals.
Addressing Remote Working Security Risks
Enterprises often face challenges in providing complete visibility into their hardware assets, leading to weakened policy enforcement and potential security incidents. To tackle these issues, it’s crucial to have comprehensive visibility into hardware assets, regardless of their characteristics and connectivity interfaces. By embracing practical approaches and adapting to dynamic cybersecurity defenses, organizations can address remote working security risks effectively.
Mitigating Remote Working Security Risks with Sepio’s HAC-1 Hardware Access Control
In the realm of cybersecurity, Rogue Device Mitigation (RDM) solutions play a crucial role in uncovering hidden hardware attacks, especially those operating over network and USB interfaces. Sepio, as the leader in RDM, offers disruptive solutions that identify, detect, and manage all peripherals, leaving no device unmanaged.
With Sepio Zero Trust Hardware Access (ZTHA), organizations can effectively mitigate security risks associated with remote working security risks. Protect your organization’s data and devices from potential cyber threats in the remote work environment.Download Research Summary