A survey conducted by the popular outsourcing site Upwork found that 61.9% of the companies surveyed planned to continue remote work in the years to come. The same survey predicts that 36.2 million American workers will be working remotely in the year 2025, a 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels (Apollo Technical). The takeaway? Remote workforces are here to stay.
At the same time that many businesses are transitioning to a remote or hybrid workforce, ransomware attempts and data breaches are trending up. The number of ransomware attacks nearly doubled in the first half of 2021. Many of these attacks involved data leaks and exfiltration and the U.S. leads countries with the most ransomware victims at 54.9% (Cognyte).
When you add these two trends together, the emerging technology risk of the early 2020’s appears to be the protection of data and assets for your growing remote workforce. Today we’re going to share with you 5 value-adding ways to protect your remote workforce from these bad actors.
Remote Ransomware Defense Software
There is a plethora of powerful ransomware defense software out there that intelligently monitor your workforces computers and disrupts and destroys hostile elements. Our favorite managed security software that we recommend for our clients is SentinelOne. When paired with other preventative measures, SentinelOne is a powerful line of defense against even the most wily bad actors.
If you choose not to work with a Managed Service Provider in finding and implementing ransomware defense, we suggest you focus on software that updates frequently, is constantly monitored for you, and is affordable for your entire workforce.
Protected Cloud Integration
The cloud has become a common solution to the unique technology challenges for many industries over the last 10 years. With special-fit solutions for all kinds of businesses, proper cloud integration can be easy to use and ensures the important data your employees are working on are making their way to the necessary locations.
Is it protected though? According to popular anti-virus software provider Norton, data saved with cloud service providers may likely be safer than anything you have stored on your own computer’s hard drive. A common ransomware attempt may include freezing your computer and demanding a ransom before they release the data and files they have frozen (Norton). With proper cloud integration, that data is already safely stored away on the cloud.
Automatic Software/Firmware Updates
According to Digital Defense, unpatched software opens the door to malware intrusions and is one of the top 3 most common ransomware attack vectors (Digital Defense). When software or operating systems are not kept properly maintained, loopholes and weaknesses are found and exploited by bad actors. These weaknesses can then be used to gain access to your remote force’s hardware and provide access to sensitive data by the hackers.
You can try to tell your remote workforce to keep their computers updated, but compliance often suffers when distance increases. One solution you might consider is using a Managed IT Firm to schedule and ensure automatic updates on important software and firmware for your employees.
Employee Training And Resources
All positions in a company require some training, and in this digital age, all positions in a company hold a risk of being the vector for a ransomware attack or data breach. Just like you would train your employees in how to deal with the sensitive information they might hear during the course of their employment, you should also train your employees in the proper way of handling and protecting your business data.
What we recommend to our clients is to partner with a knowledgeable IT firm that can provide the necessary training, and update it when necessary. It is critical that the information your remote workforce is accurate and current since the digital world is evolving constantly and not always for the better! Find a good long-term partner that can stay up to date on the evolving threats as you focus on guiding your company through to the next objective.
Consult with Professionals To Find Your Weaknesses
It is never a bad idea to ask for a second pair of eyes. When auditing for effectiveness, compliance, or vulnerabilities, second and even third opinions may be necessary. If you have questions about where your remote workforce stands in a rising tide of digital threats, contact us and schedule a time for a free consultation – 732-667-3409.