Why Securing Remote Working Should be Your Business’s First Priority
There’s no doubt about it: remote working has evolved well beyond a niche arrangement reserved for freelancers, travelling professionals or workplaces locked down during the pandemic. The world is waking up to the benefits that can be achieved by allowing staff work from home, even if only on a part-time basis. From greater flexibility for employees to saving on office space, there are so many reasons businesses are sticking to some form of remote work into 2021 and beyond.
But remote working comes with its own set of challenges that need to be overcome if it has any chance of being a viable strategy in the short and long term. Along with staff wellbeing and productivity, businesses need to assess the security risks of remote working arrangements and how they impact their long-term strategy.
Cybercrime: A growing threat
Security breaches have long posed a serious risk to businesses of any size. The digital age, despite all its benefits, has only complicated matters while the pandemic made the dangers even more pronounced. PwC reported a 65% increase in global cybersecurity incidents in the months following the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, a surge which cost Australian companies an estimated $7.6 billion.
Not only did criminals take advantage of the pandemic, but the sudden influx of remote working amplified the danger of phishing, ransomware, DDoS attacks and other threats. Instead of working from a secure central location and closely managed IT infrastructure, staff now use vulnerable home networks, store sensitive information online more often and sometimes even use their own equipment.
The impacts of cybercrime on modern businesses
The prevalence of cybercrime is there for all to see, but what does it actually mean for Australian businesses? It might seem an obvious risk for companies in sensitive fields, but the danger extends to any business that operates even partially on a digital platform.
The first and most obvious impact of a digital security breach is financial. The cost of intellectual property theft and repairing exposed infrastructure can quickly skyrocket and leave even the most well-resourced businesses struggling to find funds. Even the mere disruption of day to day operations caused by a breach can be an expensive hiccup to recover from.
Australia’s expanding cybersecurity laws are placing increasing emphasis on a requirement for businesses to uphold a certain standard of digital security. Breaching these laws and regulations, along with any specific industry obligations, can not only lead to financial penalties but also potential legal action from affected clients and stakeholders.
Even if a business survives the direct financial impact of a breach, it is in equal danger of suffering serious harm to its reputation and losing customers as a result. Exposure to cybercrime can quickly erode trust and brand loyalty and see your customers jump ship to competitors, particularly if the breach is well publicised.
How remote working can coexist with robust digital security
Though we’ve firmly established the risks of remote working, there are plenty of ways to keep your business network secure while allowing your staff to work from home. From basic measures like two-factor authentication (2FA), virtual private networks (VPN) and endpoint protection to more intricate strategies and managed services, businesses that take an active and concerted approach to security can mitigate these risks and adapt to these modern working arrangements.
Get help from the experts
Security is imperative for effective remote working, but it’s not an easy challenge to overcome. 5G Networks has extensive experience helping businesses of all sizes establish secure networks that enable staff to work from home safely and securely. Our cost-effective solutions are tailored to the needs of your business and designed to boost your defence against potential breaches with minimal disruption to your operations.