2020 is a uniquely transformative year. Prompted by a global pandemic, we’ve been forced to change many things about how we live, work and relate. For most businesses, this means a rapid and comprehensive shift toward remote work.

While more than half of all employees participated in a rapid transition to remote work, it’s clear that this is more than just a temporary change. According to a June survey by PwC, 83% of employees want to work from home at least once a week and 55% want to continue working remotely even after the pandemic subsides.

As companies look to cut costs, reduce turnover and maximize growth potential, it’s clear that telework will play a central role in both the present and future of work.

While remote work comes with many benefits, it also presents several unique cybersecurity challenges. By now, the costs and consequences of a data breach or cybersecurity event are well-documented, and they threaten to undermine the benefits of this new work arrangement.

Fortunately, companies aren’t powerless in this regard. By taking steps to mitigate the most potent threats, they can minimize risk and maximize opportunity during this transformative moment.

Remote Work Security Challenges

Here are three risk categories for remote teams and the next steps companies can take to improve their defensive postures.

Insider Threats

Even before remote work was ubiquitous, accidental and malicious insider threats posed a serious risk to data security. As trusted team members, employees have unprecedented access to company and customer data, which, when left unchecked, can undermine company, customer and employee privacy.

These risks are magnified by remote work.

The pandemic’s impact on the job market has made malicious insiders more likely to capture or compromise data to gain leverage with new employment prospects or to generate extra income. In addition, accidental insiders are especially prone to errors when working remotely.

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