National Work From Home (WFH) Day has recently been used to celebrate the renaissance of working from home, a phenomenon that was once only reserved for only a few select professions. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a remarkable transformation in work practices, with remote working becoming the new norm, for almost all of us. This monumental shift, while beneficial in many capacities also represents substantial challenges, particularly in the realm of cybersecurity.

As per recent data, approximately 35% of US employees now work remotely full-time, which is down from 43% in January 2022 and 55% in October 2020 (Pew Research Center, 2023). While the overall number of individual employees working remotely has declined, it is projected that at the business level, 48% of organizations are expected to continue remote work long-term. As remote work is bound to continue for millions of Americans, cybersecurity concerns have become more prominent. Malware Bytes suggests that 68% of organizations anticipate facing tougher cybersecurity challenges in the remote work environment, with ransomware attacks seeing a sharp 20% rise since the shift to remote work began. This alarming statistic underscores the critical need for organizations to prioritize robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard their data, systems, and intellectual property.

To effectively mitigate cybersecurity risks in the remote work landscape, organizations must focus on security education and awareness, investing in secure remote access protocols, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to name a few. Below are some best practices to thwart malicious cyber attacks:

Partner with a Technology Consultant like IQ Wired: By tapping experts who have extensive cybersecurity knowledge and insight, you can thwart attacks before they happen. Investing in a partnership with security experts can save millions of dollars, and priceless hours for companies that do not have the in-house knowledge or resources to combat cybercrime. Our approach includes assisting to roadmap your organizations’ specific goals and initiatives. Changing the WFH landscape includes dialogue and decisions around your Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) approach, security posture, cloud initiatives, virtual instances and so much more.

Practice Cybersecurity Hygiene: Regularly review privacy settings on social media platforms, avoid oversharing personal information online, and be cautious when downloading apps or software from unofficial sources.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification, such as a fingerprint or a unique code sent to your mobile device.

Keep Software Updated: Regularly update operating systems, applications, and antivirus software to ensure you have the latest security patches and protection against known vulnerabilities.

Be Cautious of Phishing Attempts: Be vigilant of suspicious emails, messages, or phone calls that ask for personal or sensitive information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

Implement Firewalls and Antivirus Software: Install reputable firewalls and antivirus software to detect and block potential threats.

National Work From Home Day symbolizes the growing acceptance and adoption of remote work, especially in the technology industry. While remote work offers numerous benefits such as increased flexibility and reduced operational costs, it also presents unique challenges, particularly in cybersecurity. By proactively addressing these challenges, companies can embrace the opportunities and advantages that remote work brings, fostering a culture of innovation, productivity, and work-life balance. Let IQ Wired be your trusted partner in building out the right solutions for your organization, IT teams, and employees.