Remote Work in Cybersecurity: Challenges, Benefits, and Best Practices

Remote Work in Cybersecurity: Challenges, Benefits, and Best Practices

Remote working has been steadily on the rise over the past few years, not just in the cyber industry but across the board, and with the new approach to flexibility becoming a much more welcomed standard, it is non-negotiable for many companies and candidates alike.

However, working remotely does not come without its own risks and challenges. Keep reading to learn more about the challenges, benefits and best practices when working remotely in Cybersecurity.

Remote Working – The Benefits

Access to a Greater Talent Pool

Cybersecurity professionals are undoubtedly a highly skilled group of people, with tons of technical knowledge and ability. However, according to the latest Cybersecurity Workforce Study from ISC2, the cybersecurity workforce shortage has risen to a record high of just under 4 million, meaning that there is a critical need for more talent. Advertising a role as remote opens up the hiring process to a much greater talent pool, as opposed to restricting the search to a specific town, city or even country, meaning companies can access top cybersecurity professionals they may not have otherwise connected with.

Encourage Higher Levels of Productivity

We all know how easy it is to become distracted by the latest office news, but studies conducted by Stanford University suggest that productivity levels increase by 13% when working from remotely. With employees feeling more comfortable in a familiar setting, their productivity levels are set to rise, which does wonders both for a business but also for the confidence and work satisfaction levels of employees themselves.

Higher Levels of Talent Retention

In addition to attracting better talent, companies that utilize remote working can expect to see a better level of talent retention. A recent study with Payscale found that employees who had the option to work remotely were 13% less likely to leave than people who did not have the option.

Remote Working – The Challenges

Security Concerns

Working remotely comes the inevitable risk of a wider attack surface. The widespread use of personal and home networks means there are increased points of vulnerability, especially with employees using their personal devices for work-related tasks.

Absence of Ad-Hoc Collaboration

Naturally, in the absence of in-office culture, there is the risk of losing ad-hoc collaboration. This may not be the case for everyone, as the increase in tech means the collaborative ethos can be replicated through video chat platforms such as Zoom, however, it is a factor to consider when looking to hire or apply for a remote position.

Loss of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Keeping work and home life two separate entities can be a challenge for everyone, but this significantly increases when your home is your office. Working remotely can be a productive tool for some employees, but it is important to note that this is not the case for everyone, and some employees may find this type of work a stressful experience, which is why it’s key that boundaries are in place to avoid health problems – both mentally and physically.

Best Practice

There are some clear benefits of working remotely, both for a company and a candidate, but it is important to ensure the right boundaries are in place to avoid encountering more challenges than necessary.

Follow our best practices to help you work remotely effectively:

  1. Create boundaries between office time and your personal life.
  2. Consider securing your digital fortress by leveraging VPNs, strengthening passwords, embracing multi-factor authentications and sticking to using work-related devices as opposed to personal ones.
  3. Maintain a sense of connection by focusing on strong communication forums, utilizing instant messaging platforms, and creating virtual social interactions.