Remote work is forcing companies to rethink location-based pay. It offers business owners and employees many benefits, from a flexible work location and increased productivity to reduced company expenses. However, data security becomes a big issue as remote work systems become prominent.
Employees working from home may be using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and some of them may even be going to the public with confidential company documents. As a result, remote work has created higher levels of security concerns for companies and their network. For example, a 2018 Shred report shows that 86% of business executives believe that incorporating a remote workforce into an organization spikes the possibility of a data security breach.
The security of the remote workforce should be taken with all seriousness. The security of these workers doesn’t end with them; it also extends to the company. Hence, if an employee’s work activity is unsecure, the company may suffer consequences. There are different strategies business owners can implement to create a secure online atmosphere for their employees wherever they are.
Establish Cybersecurity Policies
A good Cybersecurity policy is critical. Forbes says that a good policy includes outlining who can be contacted and employee training on measures to consider, whether on a data center or private computer. Other procedures and practices that can strengthen data security within an organization should also be initiated.
One very crucial step is employees being aware of the importance of network security. Many remote workers do not still understand how critical this is, and it is unsafe to assume that they do simply. They may think that they are not operating at certain levels, hence, have no business with data security. However, all remote employees should review and sign the policy with cybersecurity policies, regardless of where they are situated.
The security policy manuscript should outline all security protocols, policy essence, how the company will support employees in policy compliance, and a signature showing employee commitment to compliance with the policy document.
Integrate Appropriate Working Tools
Remote work has a different experience from onsite work. Unlike onsite workers that are physically present at the office and engage in physical meetings and conferences, physical consultations, and handling of files, remote workers need a set of tools to help them work effectively and securely, just like onsite workers.
You’ll need to provide remote working tools like cloud-based office suites, video conferencing apps, and other crucial software to your remote workforce. It is also important that you coordinate with your IT team to assess these tools’ effectiveness, safety, and security. Additionally, create a system that gets them to update their applications often to keep them up-to-date with the latest security patches.
Invest In Corporate VPNs
Secure your remote workforce in this remote age by investing in encryption software like corporate VPNs to secure sensitive data being transmitted between workers and clients. For example, if a worker loses a device, such a device can get into the wrong hands and leak sensitive information, jeopardizing the company’s network.
VPNs will protect company data and block unwarranted access from stolen or lost devices. In addition, remote workers can work with VPNs from their location. You can also mask their IP addresses to deter hackers from knowing their location and accessing their data. Finally, having a corporate VPN builds a secure tunnel between your company’s server and remote workers so that data sent over the network appears gibberish to external entities.
Consider Implementing Two-Factor Authentication
Many years back, people only needed to implement simple passwords to secure their accounts and data. But over the years, insecurity in cyberspace has gotten more sophisticated that internet users now have to deploy multiple security strategies, including two-factor authentication.
Passwords can now be stolen through phishing, keylogging, and pharming. Using 2FA (two-factor authentication) will stiffen the possibility of a hacker gaining access to your data. This authentication process can include a username and password to confirm a user’s identity and an extra piece of personal information, such as a user’s PIN, an OTP, or an answer to a secret question.
Also, companies can employ the use of biometrics like retina, fingerprint, or voice recognition. The authentication process is generally more complex but may also be costlier depending on the level of network security an organization considers.
Use a Password Manager and Keep Passwords Strong
Many business owners have not discovered how dire it is to keep their passwords safe. Many apply the same passwords across multiple devices and programs, which may become dangerous if there’s a breach. In essence, remote workers must be educated about keeping their passwords safe to secure company data.
You may want to organize password security training during cybersecurity orientations. Start by keeping passwords strong and explain why it is critical to use strong passwords and not use passwords multiple times across platforms and devices.
It would be best to use a password manager that will randomly generate strong passwords and secure all your passwords. This approach will ease employees’ struggle to remember all their different passwords.
Use Comprehensive Cybersecurity Software
It is no longer sufficient to install antivirus software on company devices to keep hackers away. Instead, it would help incorporate comprehensive cybersecurity tools to deal with different malware, threats, and attacks.
You’ll receive a considerable level of security through security packages designed to complement your base antivirus program and boost cybersecurity. Your security suite should be able to detect and remove threats such as trojans and worms, malware and spyware, phishing scams, viruses, and zero-day attacks. VPNs are also strategies to bolster security defense and ward off hackers.
Secure All Access to Internet Connections
One thing you don’t want to do is to restrain your employees from working from their comfort zones—where they feel motivated and energized to give in their best. Instead, they only need to be guided in safety strategies to secure the company’s data.
A quick fix to unsecured internet connections is to consider corporate VPNs. All your company workers must learn to use VPNs before signing on to public Wi-Fi networks.