Study: Remote businesses need to do better with cybersecurity

In a technological world, businesses and remote workers need to think more about data security.

Debates about productivity and collaboration usually take centre stage when it comes to remote work. 

But there’s a remote work concern that’s seldom-discussed despite its importance.

The question of keeping data secure and protected when staff work out-of-office doesn’t typically arise.

It’s something that remote workers and businesses with remote teams should spend more time thinking about and putting more effort into, though, according to a new study.


Cybersecurity shouldn’t be an afterthought

According to technology firm Arcserve, a concerning number of businesses aren’t taking cybersecurity as seriously as they should be.

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More effort should be made to secure remote work. (Photo by Cottonbro Studio on Pexels)

The firm highlighted not just concerns like data theft or malware, but even compliance and data loss.

In a published article, Mark Johnson, Arcserve senior director of Global Alliances, noted: “The rise of remote work introduced a host of cybersecurity concerns, as employees who work outside the office don’t have the security features that go with it…

“For example, only 38% of financial services companies have a backup and recovery solution for remote employees. 

“It is a risky proposition. Financial services companies that don’t have a security solution for remote employees expose themselves to a wide range of serious threats, including data loss, regulatory noncompliance and operational disruption.”

He added, “If we consider remote workers outside the financial services sector, where regulations and security measures are typically less stringent, we can identify serious issues.”


A secure way to work remotely

As with most of the challenges that can come with remote work, cybersecurity concerns can be addressed to make for the best remote work experience possible. 

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There are several ways to make remote work more secure. (Photo by Mart Production on Pexels)

To start with, organisations like TechRadar, the Pew Research Center and other global leaders recommend that remote workers be adequately informed about the best cybersecurity practices. 

Even simple “cyber-hygiene” like enabling multi-factor authentication can help remote workers work more safely, according to experts.

Having the right hardware and software is also a big help, however. 

Businesses can centralise their data somewhere secure, and also control which employees can access it. 

For remote workers who may be self-employed, it’s recommended to have high-quality security software and updated programs as a first line of defence against cyber attacks. 

Security breaches can still happen in-person, so the resolution for this concern is not to remove remote work. But rather, it’s a valid point to remind employers and employees that remote teams need to be adequately equipped to safely and efficiently perform to the best of their ability.

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