Remote Work and The Human Error: 3 Major Challenges

By Brittany Demendi / Adlumin, Inc.
April 7, 2022

As the world begins to return to our new sense of normalcy, most people opt for remote work instead of going back into the office. According to CNBC, “new research from CareerBuilder found that jobs allowing employees to work from home full- or part-time saw seven times more applications than in-person roles last month.” With such significant change comes growing pains, and as the lines between home and work become blurred, security risks soar. Corporate jobs are evolving, which means organizations and IT professionals need to make changes to keep up. Let’s look at three of the biggest rising challenges with remote work.

Challenge 1: The Human Error

According to Forbes, in the past 12 months, one in four employees (26%) have lost their jobs due to a mistake that compromised their company’s security. Cybercriminals are happily targeting remote workers who lack IT support. Most companies are falling behind in providing the same support to employees remotely as they would in the office, and cybercriminals have taken note. To make matters worse, many are not adequately trained on cybersecurity awareness, causing errors to slip through the cracks of their fragile IT landscape. Forbes also reports:

“Two-fifths (40%) of employees sent an email to the wrong person, with almost one-third (29%) saying their business lost a client or customer because of this error.

Over one-third (36%) of employees have made a mistake at work that compromised security, and fewer report their mistakes to IT.

On average, a U.S. employee sends four emails to the wrong person every month—and organizations are taking tougher action in response to these mistakes that compromise data.”

Employees are not entirely to blame when there is no robust cybersecurity awareness training or credible command center for security operations to shift the burden onto. Human error is often inevitable. However, the more you know, the more you can avoid making careless mistakes that might cost your organization more than an apology can pay for.

Challenge 2: Skill Gaps are Growing

As discussed in a previous blog post, the cybersecurity industry is experiencing an extreme talent shortage across the country. Some of the many reasons this gap exists include lack of diversity, trouble attracting candidates into the field, and a continuous change in skillset demands. Closing the skills gap must be a combined effort by companies and professionals. To help close this gap, companies should consider doing the following:

  • Upskilling: Consider closing the skills gap by upskilling and reskilling current employees. By giving internal candidates the appropriate training, they may be able to fill open roles in addition to mentoring and training new hires.
  • Diversity: According to a McKinsey report, companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Adopting more inclusive hiring practices will only benefit organizations in the long run.

IT professionals have become the backbone of many businesses. They lead the pack in managing a healthy and robust IT environment, including consistently updating and patching holes and conducting cybersecurity awareness training.

Challenge 3: Disaster Recovery and Digital Transformation

The past two years have brought holes in companies’ IT landscapes to light. Many companies were not fully prepared to have employees and operations moved to fully remote environments, which has propelled the need for digital transformation. It has also called for organizations to prioritize disaster recovery and prepare for the future.

Now that we have moved past survival mode and remote work is the new normal, we can embrace this era of digitalization. Turning this challenge into an opportunity can open many doors to companies’ security. If your company begins looking into options for securing employees and building their cyber awareness knowledge, you can create better moral and data protection for your organization.

Mitigating the Remote Risk: Secure Staff Wherever They Are

Working from home is a significant game-changer for corporations and will not disappear anytime soon. Any company looking to attract talent and provide location flexibility must become diligent when managing the risks of remote work.

Prevention is key. Humans have proven time again that they can be the weakest link to an organization’s security, so it is essential to address that reality. Too many corporations look at defending against cyber risk as an expense or afterthought when it needs to be a priority. Cybercrime is continuously evolving; cyber awareness training and investing in a security and compliance automation platform will help mitigate the risks that come with it.