After the attack on colonial pipelines and other businesses, lawmakers have been urging their companies to toughen their barriers against cyber threats. Many small businesses lack basic cyber hygiene. For instance, many small businesses and remote workers along with ordinary customers lack two-factor authentication.
According to a new study, 71% of the American workforce has now been performing duties remotely. And this has made cybersecurity essential.
A recent survey by the VPNoverview managed to survey over 1,000 full-time remote working employees and how much they pay attention to the cybersecurity requirements at their work. The survey includes questions for the participants such as who pays for the cybersecurity requirements for work. How seriously are they taking the online security practices and whether or not they have experienced a cybersecurity attack in recent times?
The result of these surveys shows that as the number of employees grew in the remote working standards the cybersecurity practices became lax. This was also something the companies had predicted before they shifted their major staff into remote working terms.
Companies that were reluctant to allow their staff to work from home had fears of increased cybersecurity lapses.
However soon into remote working, the larger companies tend to become more certain on the security measures.
For instance, the big companies urged their employees to enable two-factor authentication and also the use of VPN.
On the other hand, the concerned companies also used their employees to use a safe internet means for work. The companies urged employees to make sure they are connecting the office-issued devices to a home internet connection that is reliable and stable – like Hughesnet Internet.
However, unfortunately, the increased cybersecurity attacks were seen on small businesses.
According to the latest data, 43% of the cybersecurity threats have been targeting small businesses globally.
This is because small business businesses are often incapable of utilizing as many defensive resources for cybersecurity attacks as large companies can.
The VPNoverview survey showed some interesting stats:
- Businesses with less than 59 employees reported relying on secure Wi-Fi networks and antivirus software for their business work.
- 14% of remote workers do not have any tech supplies supplied to them from their company while working from home.
- 21% of remote workers pay for work cybersecurity, which totals $111.30 on average.
- Unlike in the pre-pandemic times, the workers were less likely to use secure Wi-Fi and antivirus software during the pandemic.
- Almost 20% of remote working staff do not think that their personal cybersecurity discipline has improved during the pandemic.
- 4% of the remote working staff reported that they take their cybersecurity for work seriously.
- Overall, the major chunk of remote working employees believe that they take cybersecurity more seriously than employers.
The reality is that the implication of cybersecurity should be more on the company side rather than expecting the company employees to take it seriously.
Especially the small business that are more often exposed to threats, they need to focus more on cybersecurity hygiene.
How to Protect the Data
While one thing is clear that remote working is not going anywhere and might even increase with time – one thing that is still confusing is how can workers and consumer ensure their data security.
Following are some of the ways that help the workers and consumers in protecting their data and keeping it private:
Get a VPN: In some cases, the company-provided VPN can be used to spy on the employees to know which websites they are visiting. If you do not feel comfortable in such activities then you can use VPNs like Norton Secure VPN or Express VPN that protects your information while you are browsing the computer at a different geographical location.
Use Private Search Engine: One way for Google to make money is by tracking you. The search engine collects as much as information it can to sell you what you need the most – based on the ads. You can still get great search results without being tracked by search engines. You can use DuckDuckGo as a private search engine for your work.
Tune-up the Privacy Setting
You leave a whole trail of data when you use applications like Google or Facebook. Most of the companies inform the employee about the data they are supped to share and what they are restricted with. However, still, the workers need to manage the private setting of the apps like Facebook. You can do it by understanding the terms and conditions for the Facebook setting page and limit the appearance of personal data on the platform.
The Cybersecurity Discipline
A lot of companies have not provided remote employees with cybersecurity requirements. However, there is a lot of things that employees can do on their own to protect valuable data while working from home.