In an increasingly digital world, businesses are forced to adapt and allow for changes in their common practices, such as remote work. Remote work can seem like a terrifying concept to many businesses because it may risk the safety of sensitive data outside of their already established firewalls and safety nets. While these kinds of reservations are understandable, there are a multitude of best practices and precautions to avoid these pitfalls and keep your business safe and protected.
The Security Risks of Working Remotely
For each employee working remotely, your business needs to secure a new user endpoint, but when all employees suddenly begin working at multiple different locations, this becomes a challenging task.
Compared to networks that have already been established within a business, home networks are often less secure, leaving them more vulnerable to cyber attacks, such as malware, trojans, and other methods used by scammers to access sensitive data.
Tips to Minimize the Risk
Despite these challenges, there are a few easy starting points to ensure your remote workers are secure. While these measures are not completely foolproof, they will significantly reduce the risks of cyber attacks.
1. Ensure devices and applications are always up to date
Developers are continually improving the security of devices and applications, so staying on top of any these updates can drastically improve your employee’s security. If possible, activate automatic updates on all remote devices so that updates can be continuously deployed as they become available.
2. Educate your employees on best practices
Ensure that your employees are educated on the cybersecurity risks of working remotely and your company’s security guidelines. This will ensure that they follow security best practices and regulations even when they’re not using the business Internet router at your physical office or place of business.
There are a few simple steps that each employee can take ahead of time to remain alert and attentive to all possible security risks.
1. Watch out for phishing texts and emails
Criminals who are attempting to steal data and information will often employ these techniques via complex phishing texts and emails disguised to fool your employees into clicking links and giving information out. Educate your employees on these methods ahead of time so that they are better able to spot a suspicious email or text message.
2. Never use personal computers for work
Ensure that all your team members are using their company-provided laptops/desktops, virtual machines, or VPNs at all times. Personal computers tend to run on outdated applications and free antivirus programs, leaving them more susceptible to virtual attacks.
3. Create strong passwords
Strong passwords are the first line of defense, yet they are often a precaution many employees fail to take. Ensure that your employees are changing their passwords often and not relying on simple passwords that are easily hacked, such as repetitive numbers or letters. To learn more about how to create and manage strong passwords, check out our post “The Best Password Managers to Protect your Business from Cyber Attacks.”
Implementing these practices into your remote work guidelines can be critical to your business and its daily operations and network resilience. By following any or all of the tactics described above, employers and employees can protect their data no matter their location and maintain a healthy remote environment.