Do You Know Which Remote Users Contribute the Biggest Risks?
With so many people working from home right now, businesses have managed to keep their operations going somewhat successfully by using the remote solutions that are available today. While it is fortunate that today’s technology enables businesses to do so, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated as remote work is implemented. Of course, many business owners may anticipate that certain users would contribute a greater level of risk than others. Let’s examine a few trends to see if this expectation holds any water.
The State of Personal Cybersecurity
Let’s consider something so that we can properly frame the rest of our discussion: while you may have established cybersecurity standards in your office that your employees are required to comply with, they may not follow these standards when it comes to their personal computing. This could potentially lead to issues if remote work is exercised as an option. After all, if operating outside of the protections you’ve established on your network, your users could potentially let in a threat that could then see whatever data or resources your team member has access to. Therefore, it is important that you know what standards your employees hold in terms of their own devices and connections. A survey released by the National Cyber Security Alliance has revealed a variety of helpful insights pertaining to remote work, so far as personal security standards are concerned. Surveying 1000 American adults, half aged between 18 to 34 years old and half from 50 to 75, a few crucial differences between the behaviors of these two cohorts were identified.
What the Survey Revealed
Somewhat predictably, the younger age group tended to show superior security practices in a few of their responses. 89 percent of the 18-to-34 bracket were likely to utilize two-factor authentication, while 70 percent of the 50-to-75 users did. In 18-to-34, 83 percent checked their software updates regularly, while 63 percent of 50-to-75 users do. However, looking at the data in a more macro sense, security practices were still inconsistent in both groups, albeit in different ways. While more of the younger crowd would choose to implement two-factor authentication, relatively few of them would update their antivirus and firewall solutions as diligently as they should and greater numbers of them would connect to public Wi-Fi. The data also showed the older survey respondents as being more careful about their data security, and that—despite being primarily made up of the 18-to-34 age bracket—most remote workers were not taking the recommended additional steps needed to reinforce their security. So, in a way, this survey simply revealed that everyone is lacking in their security practices as they work remotely. It just manifests differently in the 18-to-34 age bracket than it does in the 50-to-75.
What Does This Mean for Your Security Right Now?
The answer to this is simple: you can’t—despite any preconceptions about your users—assume that one age group will be naturally more secure than the other when working, whether in-house or remotely. Therefore, there are a few steps that you need to take so that you can be sure that your team is aware and alert. First, your team needs to be up to speed on the behaviors that you expect them to follow in and out of the office. This means you need to provide them with different training materials and exercises to help them practice these skills, regularly evaluating your entire team’s shared performance and attending to individuals as need be.