3 Remote Working Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid

Implementing cybersecurity measures in the remote workplace is one of those things that takes time and a whole lot of patience (and reminders). People are comfortable online — sometimes a little too comfortable.

Seriously. How many times have you used the same password across multiple logins despite the warnings against it?

These bad habits are easy to ignore until you experience the impact of cyber hacking first-hand. Cyber-attacks can literally cost businesses an average of $15,000 per incident, according to Canada’s Chartered Professional Accountants organization.

The “good” news? 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Meaning you can lessen your business’ risk of a breach by educating staff and avoiding these common mistakes.

Working from a Personal Laptop

From an IT perspective, providing employees with a streamlined computer setup can save you a lot of headache and hassle down the road. When you let employees use their personal laptops for work, you have less control over security, software updates, and other set-up configurations that may leave teams vulnerable.

This is especially true for those working on sensitive documents. A company-provided laptop allows you to set up a VPN (virtual private network) and ensure employees are protected when collaborating from remote locations. Staples’ Nerds on Site experts can safely and efficiently enable advanced VPN configurations for teams spread far and wide.

Connecting to Public Wi-Fi

Remote working has its benefits, but it also adds new entry points for cybercriminals across your teams’ home bases. These entry points are further multiplied when employees take their operations on the road — say, to a local coffee shop or co-working space.

You should discourage employees from logging onto public Wi-Fi for work. Especially if your employees aren’t using a company-provided laptop. In these cases, provide them with hotspot capabilities for more secure and reliable internet access when on the go.

Leaving Important Documents Unprotected

Another cybersecurity mistake to avoid is loose management of documents. Consider appointing an administrator to regularly review and monitor your document management systems and processes.

Implement password policies, standard folder permissions, and specific rules around file sharing (e.g. employees should never send files back and forth via email). Privacy screens and filters may also be worth adding to remote work toolkits for those who travel frequently and spend time outside of the home office.

The reality is, these suggestions are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybersecurity best practices. For a more detailed, comprehensive view of what your small business needs, sign up for a Security Snapshot from Nerds on Site. No obligation, no commitment — just peace of mind.

By Staples Canada

August 24, 2021