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Fortifying Your Remote Workforce and AI Users: Key Cybersecurity Measures for IT Leaders
Core NewsroomJul 5, 2024 12:27:07 PM4 min read

Fortifying Your Remote Workforce and AI Users: Key Cybersecurity Measures for IT Leaders

Fortifying Your Remote Workforce and AI Users: Key Cybersecurity Measures for IT Leaders

The rapid shift to remote work transformed how businesses operate faster than expected, creating new opportunities but also new challenges. Now we have AI technologies and tools, freely accessible for users on work devices in many organisations.

Are you aware of what tools are being accessed and used by your employees? Are you aware of what company information they may be sharing in unsecured tools such as ChatGPT? One of the most pressing challenges for IT leaders is ensuring robust cybersecurity for remote workers. As employees access sensitive company data from various locations, the risk of cyber threats increases, and it’s more important than ever to ensure you have boundaries in place.

Understanding the Cybersecurity Landscape for Remote Work

Before diving into best practices, it’s essential to understand the cybersecurity landscape for remote work. The proliferation of personal devices, unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and increased reliance on cloud services – not to mention the increase in usage and integration of new AI technologies and tooling – have expanded the attack surface for cybercriminals. Phishing attacks, ransomware, and data breaches are more prevalent than ever, targeting vulnerabilities in remote work setups. The use of unmanaged AI tools introduces new security risks, making it crucial for organisations to adopt a holistic approach to cybersecurity.

Implementing Best Practices for Secure Remote Work

Update your Remote Work Policy

A comprehensive remote work policy is the foundation of secure remote operations, but should not be a static policy when technology is ever-evolving. This policy should outline security protocols, acceptable use of company resources, and guidelines for accessing sensitive information. Make sure all employees understand and adhere to these policies. The policy should also address the use of AI tools, ensuring they are evaluated for security risks before adoption and that only approved tools are used.

Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPNs are crucial for secure remote connections. They encrypt internet traffic, making it difficult for cybercriminals to intercept data. Ensure all remote workers use a company-approved VPN when accessing corporate resources. Regularly update and patch VPN software to mitigate vulnerabilities.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Passwords alone are not sufficient to protect sensitive information. Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification methods, such as a text message code or biometric scan. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access. Ensure MFA is enabled for all critical systems, including AI tools and cloud services.

Provide Cybersecurity Training

Human error is a significant factor in many cyber incidents. Regular cybersecurity training helps employees recognise phishing attempts, understand the importance of strong passwords, and follow best practices for data protection. Training should also cover the secure use of AI tools, highlighting potential risks and safe practices. Consider conducting simulated phishing exercises to test their awareness and response.

Secure Endpoints with Updated Software

Ensure all devices used by remote workers have updated antivirus software, firewalls, and operating systems. Regular updates patch known vulnerabilities and improve overall security. Encourage employees to enable automatic updates to stay protected. Additionally, AI tools should be regularly updated and patched to address any emerging security vulnerabilities.

Enforce Strong Password Policies

Weak passwords are an open invitation to cybercriminals. Enforce strong password policies that require complex, unique passwords for different accounts. Consider using password managers to help employees manage their passwords securely. Password policies should apply to all systems and tools, including AI platforms.

Utilise Cloud Security Solutions

With increased reliance on cloud services, it’s essential to implement robust cloud security measures. Choose reputable cloud service providers that offer advanced security features, such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. Ensure employees understand how to securely use these services. Evaluate cloud-based AI tools for their security practices and ensure they meet your organisation’s standards.

Monitor and Respond to Threats

Proactive monitoring of your network and systems can help detect and respond to threats before they cause significant damage. You can use advanced security tools like intrusion detection systems (IDS) and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to gain real-time insights into potential threats. However, if your budgets are more condensed, it’s worth speaking to your MSP about what security tooling you may already have access to, particularly if you have invested into Microsoft technology. So many organisations have features, tooling and monitoring available to them that haven’t been activated or optimised. Monitoring should also extend to AI tools to identify any unusual or unauthorised activities.

Foster a Security-First Culture

Creating a culture that prioritises cybersecurity is vital for long-term success. Encourage open communication about security concerns and recognise employees who demonstrate good security practices. A security-first culture ensures everyone in the organisation takes responsibility for protecting sensitive information. Promote awareness of the risks associated with AI tools and the importance of using them securely.

What next?

The above includes just a few considerations in the vast space of business cybersecurity. If it feels like too much for your team, or not something you can currently resource, don’t waste time and leave your organisation at risk – speak to our team today about our Microsoft Cybersecurity Assessments with funding support available for eligible organisations.

We also have multiple cybersecurity workshops available, and provide free technology roadmap assessments for eligible organisations, in a secure space. Remember, the security of your digital connections is not just an IT issue but a business imperative. You don’t know what you don’t know, so it’s time to find out. 

Contact our team today: www.core.co.uk/contact-us