The growth in technology has made remote work a reality. Today 1out of 4 Americans work remotely. Though remote work offers employees some flexibility, it comes with a lot of risks. Cybercriminals can take advantage of the lessened security measure and risks that involve using public Wi-Fi to hack into an organization’s network.
If your employees work remotely, you need to work together with them and take the right measures to mitigate cybersecurity threats. Employers and employees have an obligation to keep the company’s data secure.
The question is, what can you and your workers do to keep your remote work secure? Here are some ways that will get you on the right track.
1. Have a Cybersecurity Policy
Cyberattacks are a significant threat to businesses, and several businesses fail to recover after it. One of the first things that every company should do is to come up with a cybersecurity policy. This includes creating cybersecurity awareness. Try not to assume that your employees can recognize a risk or know how to mitigate them.
Human error is a leading cause of cyberattacks. To keep your data secure, have a cybersecurity policy. All your employees should read, understand and sign the policy. This will ensure that they take data security more seriously and know what is required of them to help keep the company’s data safe.
2. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi to access the company’s network is a considerable risk. Several people have access to such connections. If you do not have a firewall, you leave your PC vulnerable. If you or your employees will have to use public Wi-Fi, it is vital to find a way of encrypting your traffic and protecting your PC.
An ideal option would be to use a hotspot from your phone or a dedicated device. However, use other additional security measures while in public to avoid being hacked. You can use a VPN to ensure you have a flexible connection to various services such as a SQL server, web pages, or email.
If possible, set up encrypted, remote connections like SSH, HTTP, and RDP. These connections have encryptions and do not require users to have another encryption service or a VPN to secure their data.
3. Consider Having Two-Factor Authentication
Several companies are using two-factor authentication (2FA) to manage their data security. 2FA confirms the identity of a user by requesting a username, password and add an added piece of information. This information can be a pin sent to a user’s smartphone or an answer to a secret question.
Passwords alone are not enough in this digital age. It is easy for someone to steal a password. With a 2FA, no one will be able to access the PC or network even if they have the password. This will provide your remote workers with peace of mind.
To further protect your data, you can also consider multi-factor authentication that requires biometrics like fingerprint, retina, or voice recognition. Though expensive, it can be a good investment, especially if you handle highly sensitive data.
4. Install Anti-Malware, Firewalls, and Antivirus Software
Remote workers should have up-to-date anti-malware, firewalls, and anti-virus software on any device they use to access the company’s network. This includes tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
Your company should able be able to wipe any stolen or lost devices remotely. Your IT team or IT company should ensure that all your remote employee’s devices are secure and always be there to offer help whenever they need it.
5. Use Encryption Software
This is one of the best ways of keeping your remote work secure. When you use encryption software, outside parties will not be able to access your company’s data even if the devices end up in the wrong hands. Encryption software will prevent your data by hindering access from unauthorized users of the encrypted devices.
You can use this software to protect your applications, chats, and emails using end-to-end encryption. Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat are some of the frequently used programs that can encrypt documents and files that remote workers share with their colleagues. Using such programs will help keep the data safe.
6. Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
Using passwords is one of the easiest ways of protecting your data. It is vital to educate your remote employees about password protection and encourage them to use different and strong passwords. To mitigate risks, use a password manager that randomly creates passwords and also stores them safely.
This way, your employees will not have to struggle to remember the different passwords they use to access various applications or files.
Do not let remote work jeopardize the security of your data. Educate all your employees, implement the right Cybersecurity policies and procedures that everyone in your company can understand, and strengthen your data security. This way, your network will remain secure, and your remote employees with work as they should without risking the data.
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