It’s been ongoing for a few years, but remote work is here to stay. In 2015-2029 there were 4.7 million people working remotely. In 2020, a shift accelerated and increased that number to over 58.6% of the total U.S. workforce.
The numbers are eye-popping but not shocking.
The movement toward remote work was slowly gaining steam before the sudden shift in 2020.
The Necessity of Preventing Cyber Risks
If you were tracking the increase and reliance on apps and online business, including e-commerce, it was only a matter before other industries and departments began shifting to remote options.
The benefits of remote work and a remote society are numerous.
In healthcare, increased usage of remote and telehealth options has created the dual effect of improved quality of treatment while simultaneously making the costs to achieve that treatment more affordable.
By providing remote health care, especially for preventive and routine medical care, patients have an easier time and are more likely to pursue better health care than previously.
The reasons are obvious; patients are more likely to get preventative care by not having to take a partial day off from work to travel and attending in-person care. And fewer people attending in person helps lower the provider’s overhead and costs, passing those benefits to the patient.
Another key benefit for employees to remote work is that there is a higher level of job satisfaction and cost-savings as well.
By not having to travel to an office, employees can find more affordable housing, won’t have to spend money on transportation costs, and increase productivity by eliminating unnecessary travel time.
What’s more, for employees looking to live more sustainably and have less negative impacts on the environment, eliminating daily travel to and from the office, as well as increased waste from food and beverage packaging, remote work improves the employee’s overall job satisfaction by working remotely.
For employers, having fewer office space requirements saves a huge portion of overhead in leasing and administrative costs.
While remote work creates a variety of benefits for both employers and employees, some industries are better situated than others.
Finance, insurance, sales, and some professional services, such as accounting, are better suited for remote work than jobs in personal services such as hospitality, restaurant work, and property maintenance. Any work requiring hands-on efforts, like face-to-face interactions, isn’t great for remote work.
However, as more people operate through mobile and home WiFi, there is increased risk to their and your cyber security.
Any business that operates online is at greater risk due to various threats. Industries that focus on conducting business in areas with extremely sensitive information and personal data are at even greater risk of being a target.
- Traditional financial organizations
- Decentralized finance
- Real estate brokers and escrow companies
- Health care professionals
- Legal and criminal law
- Bookkeeping and accounting business
- Online services and sales
Really any business that allows employees to access proprietary information online is at risk. This is because employees may have compromised devices or access or may be working on public WiFi, which has a greater chance of being hacked.
As an organization, since you can’t control how your staff accesses your internal communications, and you have zero control over where people access from, it’s crucial to build in safeguards and protocols to protect your information and protect the data of your customers.
You can institute several protocols to provide stronger online security measures throughout your organization.
The first thing you need to do is implement a strategy that calls for increased secure logins. Consider stronger password protections and introduce two-party verification also.
Second, delete any old or unused software that may create a security risk.
Next, regularly update security software and software patches as available.
Create an encryption system in your database and back up your information regularly.
Implement firewall protections and add limitations to websites and apps on work WiFi and devices.
Finally, encourage and implement a VPN for all work-related communications and devices.
As more industries choose to operate either entirely or partially remote, finding the proper safeguards and putting proper cyber security in place is crucial to protect proprietary information and safeguard your client’s personal information.