Since the Covid 19 pandemic, many businesses have switched to working remotely. Since the stigma associated with the pandemic died down, many organizations have returned to working from an office location. However, many organizations have also decided to continue working remotely. Working remotely has a lot of positives attached to it, but one of the main negatives associated with communicating and working online is security & data breaches. With more businesses going remote, it's crucial to take the proper precautions against security attacks that can compromise the company and client's delicate data.
This article distinguishes between security and data breaches and highlights some common causes and solutions to security/ data breaches in remote working.
A security breach occurs when unauthorized access to computer or system data, applications, and networks occurs. When there's a security breach, usually, the intruder gains access to information by overriding security measures.
Security and data breach have a distinction though they are frequently used interchangeably. With a security breach, the intruder successfully breaks into a user's system, network, or device. A data breach means the cybercriminal gained access to the victim's system and stole sensitive information.
Increased online work has led to increased data breaches; a recent report claimed that about 20% of businesses experienced a security breach due to transitioning from the traditional work environment to remote offices.
Let's face it; remote work isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so it's best to have a solid plan for preventing security breaches. This article will explore some of the significant causes of security breaches in remote working and the best preventive measures to avoid unwanted security/data breaches.
What is the significance of understanding Security/Data Breach causes?
A security and data breach can spell disaster for many organizations operating a fully remote/hybrid work environment. When a worker connects to a company's network service from home, the company cannot always guarantee the safety of essential data unless proper measures are taken.
Lack of technical knowledge or IT is one of the primary reasons many businesses fall prey to security & data breaches. Companies need to understand the causes of cybercrime to adopt the right preventive measures.
It's equally important that businesses know what causes security breaches because when there's a compromise on delicate client information and internal business data, it can lead to severe financial strain on the company, loss of customer loyalty, and a massive dent in business operations.
At Fetchly, we prioritize understanding some common causes of security and data breaches and how to prevent them. By doing so, we take the proper steps to ensure our systems and clients' delicate information remains safe.
With that in mind, let's delve into some common causes of security and data breaches.
Common Causes of Security/Data Breaches in Remote Work
- No transparency in reports
Often we find that when there's a cyber attack, uninformed employees only report once the situation becomes critical, leaving the company at the mercy of security threats. Not being transparent when there's an initial security attack is one of the major causes of heightened security breaches that can eventually lead to a data breach.
- Unprotected databases & Human error
Unprotected databases can likely lead to security breaches when data is stored in the cloud.
Picture this scenario: The IT department in an organization tries to configure its security measures, and grants hired remote workers access to their servers. However, when configurations are over, one member of the IT department may forget to log out, leaving the client and company database vulnerable to attacks and leaks.
Human error can also come in the form of weak passwords, sharing sensitive client information with the wrong recipient, and falling for phishing scams. When proper measures aren't implemented to secure the company's database, it's easy for delicate information to fall into the wrong hands.
- Transfer of company data to personal accounts
According to a recent survey, at least two of every five remote workers transfer company information from the system to their email accounts. Such transfers might be non-existent if employees work from an actual office space. Nonetheless, the primary threat is that many personal emails are not encrypted, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack into the company's system and steal data.
- Malware attacks from sharing data online
As long as a company shares data with its remote workers online, there's a possibility that data can be breached. Remote workers can connect to their workspace through mobile phones and computers, and a remote computer does not effectively protect IP addresses and firewalls.
Emails, cloud storage, attachments, and third-party applications are also vulnerable to attacks because they frequently do not pass security measures like two-factor authentication and encryption. That being said, sharing data online can give rise to malware attacks if there are no proper cybersecurity measures in place to prevent the hack in the first place.
Solutions to the Causes
- Immediately report a security/data breach
The first response should be reported immediately when a security or data breach happens. The earlier it is reported, the faster the situation can be dealt with before it reaches a critical point.
- Protect the company's database and educate employees on proper IT security measures
Employees unaware of a company's security measures may make mistakes that can harm the organization's survival. That being said, one of the first steps to protecting a company's database is to ensure all employees or team members are fully aware of the security measures in place for safeguarding company data.
Management should also ensure company passwords are complex enough that hackers can't easily crack them. Two-factor authentication and other forms of encryption should be set up, and an automated system should be implemented to update security measures regularly.
- Company data should remain in the company's account and with limited access
Organizations should avoid transferring company data to personal accounts and only grant access to specific team members. Another thing to note in this regard is to keep permissions as simple as possible because hackers prey on overly complex access permissions.
Ultimately, businesses should keep a tight rein on who has access to what within their organization to avoid permitting the wrong people or leaving outdated permissions lurking for cybercriminals to exploit.
- Cybersecurity measures should be implemented
In setting up security measures, ensure software applications aren't poorly written, and network systems are designed efficiently, as these are primary targets for hackers. Please pay attention to all software and hardware solutions and double-check to be sure they're fully patched and up to date.
To prevent malware attacks while working remotely, avoid visiting websites that are misleading or opening emails that look suspicious because these are some popular ways cybercriminals spread malware.
As a remote company, one of the ways Fetchly ensures security and data breaches don't happen is by providing company computers to remote employees in some cases. All remote team members are also provided with work emails alongside their chrome profiles.
Doing so ensures that all the work done for the company can only be accessed through its chrome profile, making it difficult for external individuals to access company or client information.
In a nutshell
It is crucial to consider data security measures when working remotely, and following the preventive measures provided in this article is a great place to start. However, mistakes can still happen, so it is advisable for fully-remote businesses to employ the services of companies like Fetchly Labs, as we are dedicated to creating the most secure platforms for clients.
Fetchly has a highly experienced project development team committed to developing, securing, and maintaining clients' projects from start to finish.
*This is not the official Fetchly opinion but the opinion of the writer who is employed by Fetchly*