As work-life and technology continue to evolve, a growing number of business owners find themselves adopting remote work policies. However, their employees, who use company platforms and networks in popular locations such as coffee shops and airports, are highly susceptible to the risk of an online attack.
According to Nationwide’s fifth annual Business Owner Survey, 83% of small business owners allow and offer employees the option to work securely from a remote location when needed and appropriate. With young business owners (those ranging from ages 18-34), this number jumps up to 95%.
Yet, only 50% of small business owners have updated their remote work security policy in the past year. Failing to continually revise remote work policies in the growing digital workplace could put those business owners at higher risk of a cyberattack.
Though remote employees place businesses at risk, many small business owners are not properly mitigating other potential cyberthreats, nor are they adequately protecting their employee platforms. According to the Nationwide survey, only 4% of business owners have implemented all of the cybersecurity best practices and recommendations from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Further, one in five small business owners have not committed their employees to formal cybersecurity training, despite the reality that employees represent one of their largest threats.
For education and cyber-prevention, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends the following best practices:
- Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information
- Educate employees about cyberthreats and hold them accountable
- Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often
- Employ best practices on payment cards
- Make backup copies of important business data and information
- Create a mobile device action plan
- Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages