When coronavirus hit, it affected many businesses. Some had to close shop, while others had to find ways to survive the hard times. Remote work has become necessary for most companies to keep them afloat while minimizing the virus’ spread.
While remote work has helped keep many employees working and businesses running, it presents a unique challenge for data security because working away from the office doesn’t usually have the same security as you’d have at the office. When employees are working from the company office, they are protected behind layers of preventative security controls. While it’s not perfect, it’s harder to have data breaches at the office than at home. When your employers are working remotely, new security policies must be set in place to keep all your information safe.
Here are ways to ensure that your data is secure when employees are working remotely.
Establish a cybersecurity policy
The first step to ensuring your company’s data is secure is to ensure that all your employees understand that information security is a priority. Most people are still not aware that protecting data, whether personal or professional, is important. Ensure that all the employees, whether working remotely or not, understand that whether they are working directly with customer data or not, they should maintain all the security protocols to keep all information safe.
Start by ensuring that all employees sign a cybersecurity policy, whether working at the office or remotely. The policy document should cover all of the various security protocols employees should comply with. The policy should also include how the company will support them in keeping the information safe, like which resources and tools they will use. It should also have a place where the employee can sign their commitment to upholding the policy’s rules.
Everyone in the company must be responsible for protecting employer and customer data. By having an established policy in place, all employees will be on the same page about their expectations.
Ensure all Internet connections are secure
When employees are allowed to work from home, you can’t forbid them to work from where they feel most comfortable and energized. As coffee shops and restaurants are slowly opening, people are itching to get out and change sceneries after months of being cooped up in the house. The chances of using public Wi-Fi to catch up with some unfinished work while having a cup of coffee is possible. Using unsecured Wi-Fi can be very risky because it’s the easiest way to expose the company’s data to hacking. In this scenario, ensure that your employees know that using public unsecured Wi-Fis isn’t safe and may put the company’s data at risk.
The easiest solution you can provide your employees to ensure that they aren’t limited when working remotely is to provide a Virtual Private Network (VPN). After signing into unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, using VPNs will encrypt the Internet traffic and avoid any risk of a data breach. It’s crucial to note that not all VPNs offer the same protection, so use due diligence and verify that the VPN you use covers all the areas you need and not just last-mile encryption.
Ensure all your passwords are strong and varied and use a password manager
Password safety is also another way to ensure your company’s data is secure. Most people use one password for all their devices and all their programs, which is very risky. Ensure that you educate all your employees about password safety to keep your information secure. Start with the basics of using a strong password, and not using the same password for every program.
You can mitigate the risk of a data breach by using a password manager to randomly create different passwords for you and store them safely in one place. Employees won’t have the challenge of remembering all the different passwords they use for various programs, and this will ensure that the company’s data stays secure and uncompromised.
Use antivirus software firewalls and anti-malware
Ensure that all your employees have up to date antivirus software, anti-malware, and firewalls on all their devices, including tablets and smartphones. Companies may also want to consider having access and the ability to wipe devices when they are lost or stolen. Mobile platforms can perform all or some of these services, allowing remote workers to use their devices while ensuring their data is safe.
Companies should be ready to offer employees technical support to ensure all the devices are up to date and protected. They can also have the tech support team train the employees and walk them through some of these processes. You can partner with companies like 2jdata that offer tech support services to help remote workers have all the software installed and up to date.
Consider using two-factor authentication
Many companies are now using two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect their data. This method confirms a user’s identity by first asking for a username and a password, plus other pieces of information. It can be a secret question or a code sent to their cell phone number. It’s easy to compromise passwords, but with 2FA, hackers’ chances of accessing the code or answering the secret question are highly unlikely. This added layer of security process can ensure that the company’s data is safe and secure.
Another option is to use multi-factor authentication, which requires additional information like voice, retina, or fingerprint recognition. This authentication mode is more complex and more expensive but could be worth it depending on the level of security your company needs.
Working remotely doesn’t have to jeopardize your company’s data. Once you offer the necessary training to employees and understand what’s required of them to ensure the company’s information is safe, they can quickly become standard practices that all employees can commit with ease. Ensure that you implement the above procedures, and everyone within the company can feel confident that they are doing everything they can to ensure that data security isn’t compromised. Follow FarhanTech for more!