The Relationship Between Remote Work and Cybersecurity

8 Dec, 2022 | Read in 5 minutes

This article provides a comprehensive examination of the current state of remote work and cybersecurity.


Remote work is now an option for most professionals. The trend of remote working has driven an increase in cybersecurity incidents. According to Alliance Virtual Offices, remote work is the main target of cyber attacks and has increased by 238%. 69% forced into inadequate WFA (work from anywhere) used their equipment for work, 70% via work devices for personal use and 30% from people outside the organisation using their devices.

Gartner also mentions that remote workers' increasing use of the public cloud is a significant cybersecurity concern area.

At the same time, there is also sophisticated ransomware with deep vulnerabilities. Companies that understand cybersecurity and the risks are starting to install weapons—for example, upgrading security tools, making antivirus for new threats, and rethinking software construction.

Then, how does the cyber attack occur? What's the effect? Let's discuss it together below.

How does remote work impact cybersecurity?

Image by Freepik

Employees may buy devices that do not support IT and use them. They might use a personal device to work. Also, personal devices blur the boundaries between personal and professional life. And the fact is, remote workers are far more vulnerable to cyber attacks without office protection.

Moreover, remote work uses the internet for most of its work. Email, video conferencing, cloud and project management tools. The more digital traffic, the wider the attack surface. Here are some security risks for remote workers:

1. Ransomware

A type of malware that blocks a user's access to their data or computer. Hackers usually take advantage of this to blackmail victims. Ransomware is often found via phishing emails.

2. Weak passwords

Weak and repeated passwords are the biggest threat to remote workers. Hackers can use software to decode passcodes. In addition, hackers can list code variations to unlock passwords and then change them.

3. Unsecured Wifi

Sometimes free Wi-Fi and home internet are unsecured. A firewall must protect the WiFi network in the office to block malicious actions. However, an outdated home internet network is vulnerable to data breaches.

4. File sharing

Sharing files for remote workers is a basic necessity. They tend to use file-sharing services to send documents. Unfortunately, file-sharing services on the internet sometimes lack encryption. But if you're in the office, the papers will always be safe because of the encryption program.

5. Personal device

One of the risks that are often neglected is using personal devices. Smartphones, laptops and personal computers sometimes have different cybersecurity capabilities than office devices.

Most companies are not ready for cyber attacks

According to Positive Technologies, 93% of the network perimeter in the company can be penetrated by cybercriminals. What's more, ISACA State of Cybersecurity 2021 explains that 61% of companies lack professional staff in cybersecurity.

On the upside, companies are starting to prioritise cybersecurity. Massive repairs have begun to be carried out to cover information leaks in cyberspace. An Enterprise Strategy Group found that 69% of companies have expanded their cybersecurity budget.

The key to improving cyber security is education for employees or end users. Employees who have insight into cyber security will be wary of cyber attacks.

Eight steps to avoid cyber attacks

To avoid attacks in cyberspace, remote workers need to pay attention to the following eight things:

1. Use a strong password

Choose a password that is not related to personal details, such as name, age and date of birth. Also, use a combination of uppercase, lowercase and numbers. Avoid using the same password for all accounts. This is important and should be noticed. When a hacker can get one password, he can access your entire account.

For added protection, enable two-factor authentication across devices and accounts. This will require you to enter a code before logging into your account via email or text message. It's a little inconvenient, but you need to adapt to it.

2. Personal device encryption

Encryption is a way of scrambling data so that only the owner can understand the information. In technical terms, encryption changes readable words into incomprehensible words.

Doing encryption is the same as protecting the information that you have. For example, when a laptop is stolen, encrypted files will be complex for thieves to access. Use applications that offer encryption, so data is safe. One of the encrypted chat applications is Telegram.

3. VPN is a way out

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a way out if you want to use unsafe public Wi-Fi. A VPN will encrypt all traffic, so no one will know what you are doing. The website you visit also doesn't know where you accessed it. VPN is a killer for online activities

Unfortunately, using a VPN slows internet connections and can reduce video quality. Choose a VPN that has a stable connection and provides the best protection.

4. Perform regular updates

Sometimes pop-ups asking you to update software are annoying. We must skip it a few times. Software and applications become invulnerable if they do not update. So, to avoid pop-ups appearing, turn on the automatic update setting. Set up automatic updates for when you're not working.

5. Be wary of phishing

Phishing emails have spiked more than 600% since the end of February 2022. This spike has occurred due to cybercriminals taking advantage of the uncertainty in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Phishing emails are common, but employees should still be careful. Employees should check the sender's email, subject and content in detail. Too many typos and incorrect punctuation are signs of a phishing email.

6. Double-lock your device

Double-lock your device when working from a cafe and wanting to leave your laptop. Enable auto lock. This is a form of anticipation if someone wants to open your device.

7. Use antivirus software

Antivirus not only protects data but also prevents data corruption in the system. Some of the company's antiviruses are modified to strengthen data security. One of the best examples of internet security is a firewall. Firewalls block traffic and provide the best protection on private networks.

8. Avoid third-party interference

The use of third-party applications makes cybersecurity vulnerable. If possible, disable all third-party controls. However, if an application is needed, discuss it with the IT team to ensure all leaks are closed.


The company and its workers are responsible for cyber security in a remote environment. Companies must provide the need for data security and educate employees. 

Employees are the first police to prevent data leakage, but without an understanding of the company, employees can’t do their parts. Companies and their workers must work together to avoid cyber attacks.

Maximising a project management tool using VirtualSpace is also a remote worker's need. Download VirtualSpace here to feel the experience.

Ready to grow your business with VirtualSpace?

One platform to manage and organise your teams, tasks, projects, and more.


Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated

We'll keep you posted with everything going on in the modern working world.