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Remote work was growing in popularity even before the coronavirus pandemic with 4.7 million people working remotely, according to FlexJobs. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, however, remote work became the new normal. There are a lot of positives associated with remote work; in many cases, it has increased productivity because workers are able to be more productive in the comfort of their homes. Furthermore, it saves businesses money, it’s better for the environment, and it gives businesses access to a wider pool of applications.


This shift does have implications for cybersecurity, however. People are using potentially unsecured home networks and accessing company resources from personal devices. While remote work presents unique cybersecurity challenges, there are several steps businesses can take to overcome these challenges.

1. Use cloud services where you can.

Cloud storage systems like Dropbox or Google Drive are excellent tools for collaboration and sharing sensitive documents. Keep in mind, though, that the security settings will be different depending on which service you use. For example, enterprise cloud-based solutions provide much greater security than free solutions. So make sure you are only using the cloud-based solutions that are approved by your company.

2. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

You need to ensure that you have a secure connection when you are working. One of the best methods to do this is to use a VPN. A VPN will protect the traffic from your computer to your corporate services. In many cases, your company may be willing to invest in a VPN for employees to use so talk to your employer about this.

3. Don’t let other people use your work device.

Are there kids in your home? Do you have roommates? You’ll want to lock your device when you’re not using it so that no one else will use it. Even if the person who uses your work device has good intentions, they may inadvertently perform activities that will put the device at risk of becoming infected by malware or leaking sensitive company information.

4. Don’t be fooled by Phishing attacks. 

If you receive an email asking for sensitive information, double-check where the email is coming from. If you’re not sure if something is a scam, you can always Google it. If it’s a Phishing attack, chances are good that someone else has been a victim of the attack before you. It only takes a few minutes to investigate whether an email is legitimate or not.

There are many other things you can do to avoid cyber attacks. For example, you can periodically change your WiFi password, shut down your work device at the end of the workday, and use multiple-factor authentication where possible. Taking these small steps can make your remote work environment much more secure, which will allow you to rest assured that you can do your job without having to worry about cybersecurity.