Teleworking Can Leave You and Your Employer Vulnerable to Cyber Threats

Teleworking employees could be vulnerable to a cyber security threat.

Many Americans are currently teleworking from their own homes. Most have a heightened stress level due to many outside factors and are trying to juggle many different roles. Hackers and other cyber criminals are capitalizing on this and are hoping to catch these workers off their guard, giving the criminals access to not only your corporate data, but your personal data as well.

Who is At Risk?

Small businesses are often targeted. Generally speaking, they spend less on IT, and even a smaller amount on IT security. As threats grow, it is harder for smaller IT departments to keep up, and often they don’t have the budget for newer equipment or programs. Small to mid-sized businesses may think their data isn’t valuable, but ID theft can be targeted to any size business.

What are the New Ways Individuals and Businesses are Being Targeted?

“Zoom Bombing” is a threat that has become more popular as more users start having their meetings on this platform. Having uninvited guests in your meetings opens your company up for trouble. To avoid this, create new access codes for each meeting, use PINs and passwords for sensitive meetings, enable notifications when attendees join, and watch the numbers to make sure that everything matches up. Once you’re certain that all attendees have joined, locking the meeting can prevent anyone else from jumping in.

The dark web is real, and it’s a scary place. It’s not quite as easy to access as Google, but once they have an encrypted browser, access is easy, and that’s where they begin to target your information. Hackers can now buy applications on the dark web to steal information. Criminals also know that they can get to big companies through vendors, service providers, and remote workers. It’s important to understand how criminals try to get you to click on something. Spam texting is big right now. They are typically very believable, especially when you aren’t thinking. They try to catch you off guard, get you to click before you think about why you’d be receiving the text, and then you’ve opened yourself to a data breach.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Employer?

Employees are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Hackers and phishers know that most employees are not working behind a company firewall. It is very easy for an employee to click on a link or open a file, and phishers now have access to your system. Phishing has seen an increase since more employees started teleworking. Right now, employees are stressed and out of their routine and can easily be caught off guard. Everyone needs reminders about looking at links or files in emails and texts with a cautious eye.

As a company, make sure that you’ve set access rules for your employees. Not everyone should have access to everything. Employees should only have access to what they need to do their jobs, and it’s important for companies to develop policies for what employees know they are allowed to do on their work-supplied devices and personal devices. If employees are working on their personal devices, they should be encouraged to create a separate profile for work related business so that others using the machine don’t have access, and no employee should be storing critical data on a personal device.

Finally, it’s important to understand the basics for online security. Keep your devices updated – not only just the operating system, but software, browsers, and plug-ins as well. Use a power strip. Find a private work area, especially if you are working with confidential documents. Be aware of your background during video calls.

Right now, it’s more important than ever that employers and employees are on their guard for cyber threats, and make sure that all procedures are being followed, no matter where employees are working. We can help your company and employees stay safe online. Contact AccuShred today to learn more about our data protection services.