Remote Working Security Risks

Remote working security risks

Remote working security risks are potential threats that arise when employees work outside the traditional office environment. These risks can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information and systems. Remote working, while offering numerous benefits such as flexibility and increased productivity, also presents several security risks that both employees and organizations need to be aware of.

Remote Working Security Risks

The past few decades have seen significant advances in technology, communication, and transportation, which have revolutionized the way we work and interact. These changes have brought numerous benefits, particularly in terms of efficiency, productivity, and connectivity. However, they have also introduced new challenges related with remote working security risks. With employees often find themselves facing remote work 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. Whether employees use their own personal devices (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, 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.
Remote Working Security Risks
Remote Working Security Risks Key Findings

Addressing Remote Working Security Risks and Data Breaches

Working remotely means employees have remote access to company data on their devices, making them potential cyberattack targets. 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 (BYOD security risks). 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.

Employees Role in CyberSecurity

Careless and uninformed staff contribute to a quarter of all cybersecurity attacks. Remote work increases the chances of such cyber 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.

Best Cybersecurity Practices for Working Remotely

Secure Network

Implement Sepio Asset Risk Management: Sepio protect both endpoints and networks by identifying and handling all connected peripherals.
Zero Trust Network Access: Embrace the principle of “never trust, always verify” by implementing. Grant access based on a “need-to-know” basis and define granular policies.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept data.
Secure Wi-Fi: Use a strong, unique password for your home Wi-Fi network. Avoid public Wi-Fi for work-related tasks.

Secure Devices

Update Software Regularly: Ensure your operating system, antivirus, and applications are up to date to patch vulnerabilities.
Enhance Authentication Measures: Promote the use of strong authentication methods such as biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition).
Strong Passwords: Use complex, unique passwords for all accounts, and consider a password manager to keep track of them.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, like a code sent to your phone.
Secure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP): If using RDP, use Network Level Authentication (NLA) and a VPN for added security.

Data Protection

Encrypt Data: Use encryption tools for sensitive data, both at rest (on your device) and in transit (while being sent or received).
Backup Regularly: Keep backups of important files in case of ransomware attacks or data loss. Store backups offline or in the cloud.
Secure File Sharing: Use secure platforms for file sharing, like encrypted email or enterprise-level solutions.

Awareness and Training

Security Awareness: Educate yourself on common threats like phishing emails, scams, and social engineering attacks.
Report Suspicious Activity: Know how to report security incidents to your IT department or manager.
Remote Work Policies: Understand and follow your company’s remote work security policies and guidelines.

Physical Security

Secure Workspace: Keep work devices physically secure. Lock them when not in use, especially in shared living spaces.
Avoid Public Screens: Be cautious of people or cameras seeing your work screen, especially when handling sensitive information.

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.

Endpoint and Network Cybersecurity

Sepio’s platform play a crucial role in uncovering hidden hardware attacks. Especially those operating over network and USB interfaces. As the leader in rogue device mitigation, 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.

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Talk to an expert. It will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

Read the Remote Working Security Risks (pdf)
April 2nd, 2020