By Joanna Sobran, President and CEO of MXOtech
Most employees, 91% that is, want to stay working remote — at least to some degree — for the foreseeable future, and 76% say that their employers are on board with this approach.
It makes sense: Operational data has made it clear to companies that staff are as productive (if not more) when working from home, while employees enjoy the ability to connect with colleagues without the need to physically commute each day.
Despite functional benefits, however, IT teams are sounding the alarm about security concerns for remote workers: 54% of technology professionals believe that remote workers pose a larger security threat than those on-site.
While there’s no silver bullet to solve remote risks, companies can benefit from the creation and implementation of robust backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plans. Here’s what that looks like in practice.
Rising Remote Risk
Data tell the tale: 90% of remote workers use employer-provided devices for personal activity, such as sharing posts on social media sites, and 50% of staff say they don’t password-protect their home networks.
The result is a veritable buffet of compromise choices for malicious actors. Using phishing scams, they can convince users on employer-owned devices to click through to infected web pages or download malware payloads, in turn compromising the peripheral of corporate networks. By breaching users’ home networks, meanwhile, attackers can begin the process of moving laterally into more sensitive service areas to conduct reconnaissance or encrypt files and demand ransoms.
Creating Robust BDR Frameworks
To help reduce the risk of potential compromise, many companies have turned to staff education efforts. These programs do pay dividends: By creating a shared culture of security, employees are better able to detect and report threats.
Despite best efforts, however, eventual attacks are inevitable. And when they occur, businesses need BDR plans in place to help mitigate the impact.
Key components of an effective plan include:
- Improved password enforcement: Bad passwords are unfortunately commonplace. Passwords such as “password” and “123456” continue to appear on worst-of lists each year — these passwords make it easy for attackers to gain undetected access. To address this issue, companies can mandate regular password changes and establish rules around password complexity to prevent easily cracked codes.
- Multiple location backups: Backing up data in multiple locations gives businesses a better chance of responding to threats as they occur. If companies can switch to backups while incidents are investigated, they can get the best of both worlds: operation and investigation.
- Secondary work options: In some cases, disasters are natural rather than malicious. Strong storms or power grid failures can cause loss of access to key data and resources, which impact performance. By creating secondary work options, such as additional connections and backup power sources, it’s possible to mitigate the impact of unexpected disasters.
Bottom line? Remote work comes with both benefits and risks. To help mitigate potential damage, businesses are best served with the creation of detailed, in-depth BDR plans. For more information, please see the accompanying resource.mxotech
Joanna Sobran is President and CEO of MXOtech. Sobran has unique and vast experience in the IT industry. For more than a decade, she has focused on delivering a high-level customer experience with innovation. She has created a niche for MXOtech by approaching each client’s business individually, with creative technology solutions crafted specifically to address its issues. Whether it’s through using better technology solutions, improving operations or education, Sobran treasures her clients and truly cares about their success.