Remote Working & Cybersecurity

Organizations are increasingly adopting hybrid workplace systems that combine a mix of office-based and remote working practices. Although these new ways of working are proving to be highly effective, they also present their own sets of challenges, particularly surrounding privacy and security.
Mark Stephens
Chief Digital Officer

Remote working has become a highly successful business strategy across many industries and market sectors, but it is a practice that presents its own set of challenges for companies, particularly with issues surrounding IT security.

This article, written and produced by Auxilium, one of the GCC’s leading Employer of Record and outsource staffing solutions providers, discusses how companies can mitigate the cybersecurity risks associated with remote workers.

The pandemic opened many people’s eyes to the possibilities of a remote or hybrid workforce, a strategy that helped many organizations to keep functioning effectively through exceptionally difficult trading conditions, and one which has now become part of their standard business mix.

Meanwhile, global expansion and the use of remote international workforces has been made easier through the increased use of Employer of Record (EOR) partners. EORs are third-party organizations that act as the legal employer of a company’s workforce and take on all their essential employer-related and HR management functions. EORs allow companies to hire and engage talent in new countries and territories without having to set up local entities.

As the trend towards remote and hybrid workforces continues, managing these teams is a relatively new experience for many companies, and one that presents a range of new challenges. The majority of the challenges fall either on the shoulders of the Human Resources team or those of the direct line managers, but there are also cybersecurity issues that need to be carefully managed.

The Most Common Risks & Threats

There are a range of cybersecurity risks and threats that remote workers may face during their working day, with the most common including: Phishing; Email Scams; Unsecured Networks; Unencrypted File Sharing; Weak Passwords, and Physical Theft.

Training, Policy & Resources

One of the first key steps to reducing and mitigating these and other risks, is to implement basic cybersecurity training for all employees, together with clear and straightforward policies on security best practices and protocols. The second is to make sure that remote workers have access to the same security tools and resources that they would have if working from the company’s offices.

Security Training

All employee induction processes should have basic cybersecurity training sessions, covering essential best practice and IT good housekeeping, and including such topics as the use of company resources and the protection of sensitive date; together with guidance on accessing the internet safely; creating & protecting passwords; and using public networks.

Company Security Policy

Companies need to task their ICT teams with creating a security policy that is both fit for purpose and easy to enforce. Its aim is to reduce the risk of data leaks and violations, as well as to introduce procedural policies that reduce or mitigate individual negligence.

The policy should cover the following areas as a minimum: training programs; data and email encryption protocols; the use of secured wireless networks; downloading, copying and removal of files & data; restrictions on the use of non-company devices.

Security Tools

It is essential to provide remote employees with access to the tools and resources they need to ensure they are compliant with the company’s policies and protocols. These include items such as: encrypted company computers; password managers; VPN connections; antivirus & malware software and firewalls; access to a company IT helpdesk.

Your EOR Partner

Make sure you choose an EOR partner who understands the risks and threats associated with cybersecurity. Ensure that any shared platforms meet the security requirements of both your company policies and those of your IT team. Importantly make sure that all communications between your EOR and your remote workforces are secure and private.

Talk to Auxilium

If you are looking to recruit international talent or deploy remote workforces to help grow your business, then you should talk to Auxilium, one of the leading EOR and outsource staffing solutions providers in the GCC Region. We help organizations to expand and recruit staff in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.

For more information on employer of record and outsource staffing services, please contact the Auxilium Employer of Record Team

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