Cyber Risks & Liabilities: Keep Remote Employees Safe from Cyber Threats

The recent increase in employees working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it an increased risk of cyber security threats.

With 25 per cent of Canadian organizations now going entirely remote and 85 per cent going remote with at least half of their workforce, it’s important to keep up with appropriate cyber security measures.

Cyber Security Tips for Remote Employees

Take the following tips into consideration for your remote workforce:

  • Develop a remote work policy specifically for the pandemic. Consider developing a new, written work from home policy that goes into effect only during the current pandemic. This policy can account for all special considerations that are different from your original policy, which may need to be reverted back to once the pandemic ends.
  • Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) if possible. A VPN can provide a direct connection to the organization’s normal applications, similar to if the employee was connected directly to the organization’s network. This can hide the user’s IP address, encrypt data transfers in transit and mask the user’s location. If the organization already has a VPN, ensure that it can handle the extra bandwidth from the sudden influx of new remote users.
  • Ensure software is updated. All devices being used for work should be secured with up-to-date firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware and data encryption software.
  • Enforce basic cyber security practices. Reinforce the importance of basic cyber security practices, such as using strong passwords and connecting to a hot spot or encrypted web connection instead of public Wi-Fi.
  • Avoid using removable media—The use of removable media such as USBs, SD cards and discs may expose valuable resources to malware and virus replication, theft and hardware failure. Keep the use of removable media to an absolute minimum and never use it as the sole storage location of valuable data.
  • Limit employee access. Rather than allowing employees access to all programs and resources, grant them access to only the programs and resources that are essential to their duties. Contact CMB Insurance Brokers for more information on promoting cyber security with a remote workforce.

Contact CMB Insurance Brokers for more information on promoting cyber security with a remote workforce.