Hybrid working & cybersecurity - How to stay safe

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09 Oct 2023

Hybrid working & cybersecurity - How to stay safe

Cybersecurity is a priority for all businesses, but for remote and hybrid workers, it’s even more vital to stay one step ahead. The level of cybersecurity we have at home is generally less than what’s seen in workplaces, but hybrid working has blurred those lines, resulting in remote workers causing a security breach in 20% of organisations. If your team works hybrid or remote, they need to know how to stay safe online.

Why is cybersecurity important for remote employees?

Now, some people can work from anywhere. But not everywhere has the online security needed to protect your business online - and that’s a concern for business owners. It can make remote employees an easy target for sophisticated cyber criminals who take advantage of people who only have basic cybersecurity software, or even worse, none at all. Fraud, extortion and identity theft are just some of the ways email addresses, banking information and home addresses could be very valuable to cybercriminals.

What are the security risks while working from home?

Hybrid working can improve flexibility, productivity and work-life balance, but with that comes the added cybersecurity risks of hybrid working.

  • Email Scams

Around 3.4 billion spam emails are sent every day, and cyber criminals are becoming increasingly good at sending very realistic emails. But look closely, there are usually subtle signs such as spelling errors or a font that’s not quite right.

  • Clicking Links

Phishing scams, viruses and spyware are sent via email. Make sure you trust the sender before you open an email, and don’t click any links that look suspicious.

  • Leaving your laptop unattended

Lock your laptop with a password when you leave your home office space, or lock the door to keep it safe.

  • Lack of knowledge

Some people just simply aren’t aware of the risks, so cybersecurity training and refreshers for all your employees can help keep everyone up to date.

How can you minimise your risk while hybrid working?

If the right steps aren’t taken, the impact of a cybersecurity attack on an SME can be devastating. Here are a few ways to minimise remote work security risks.

  • Create a cybersecurity strategy that includes the steps everyone must take to stay safe online.

  • We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - try not to connect to free public Wi-Fi. If the network doesn’t require a password in order to connect, the cybersecurity is probably poor.

  • See how your business fares and take our ‘Fit for a secure future’ assessment that tells you exactly where you land on the cybersecurity scale.

  • If a supplier changes their bank details, give them a call to confirm before making a payment.

  • Provide sliding webcam covers to your employees. Webcams are essential for online meetings, but they can be hacked, meaning your home life is recorded without your consent or knowledge.

  • Use a VPN. Virtual Private networks provide a secure internet connection that’s encrypted.

  • Make your passwords strong and secure. *Insert pet name*123 isn’t going to cut it.

  • Enable two-factor authentication to add another layer of protection.

Hybrid working is here to stay and unfortunately, so is cyber crime. To find out how to stay one step ahead and keep your business safe online, get 1-2-1 advice from our V-Hub Digital Advisors.

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