Cybersecurity and Privacy Considerations While Working Remotely

Cybersecurity and Privacy Considerations While Working Remotely

  1. With employees working remotely, there is a heightened risk that they may handle information outside of secure channels. This increases the risk of unauthorized disclosures of information that must be protected under various privacy laws. It also increases the risk of bad actors accessing an organization’s data or systems.
  2. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic to launch phishing campaigns intended to lure email users into clicking on malicious links that appear to be legitimate information from public health officials and other news sources. These targeted, topical campaigns allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to user credentials, sensitive company information, protected personal data or financial information; to embed harmful ransomware; and/or to compromise the integrity of business email systems.
  3. Cybersecurity is never just an IT issue—it’s always about the combination of people, processes and technol­ogy. In this pandemic, the people part of the equation has added significance—and risks. Companies, organizations and institutions should evaluate their cybersecurity and remote-work policies to determine whether updates are necessary. Employers should provide employees with refresher training on: policies for remote work; policies for data privacy (including privacy of hardcopy data and how to securely transfer, store, and access electronic information); the privacy risks associated with virtual teleconferencing and commercially available data sharing platforms; policies for secure data destruction; and the procedure for notifying the company of a suspected data or network compromise.

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