Remote Work Security Tips
Remote work has quite a few upsides: it increases employees’ productivity and retention while reducing a companies’ costs. However, moving to a remote or hybrid work model imposes certain security risks.
When all your employees work on-premises it is possible to create a maximum protection “closed-loop” workspace that is very hard to breach from outside. When it comes to remote work, some compromises must be made.
However, modern technology offers plenty of means to ensure secure and compliant remote work for any business. This article covers these threats and solutions that will help your business operate securely wherever your employees are.
The Main Security Threats Remote Employees Face
A data breach can have a devastating effect on a company. Having personal or other sensitive data stolen is a nightmare for any business owner.
Cybercriminals use different tools to commit attacks including malware, phishing, and man-in-the-middle techniques. We have already discussed the most common types of cyberthreats in this article.
There are three main areas of risk for remote employees:
- The possibility of having a device lost or stolen increases when an employee works remotely.
- Using untrusted or out-of-date programs may lead to security breaches. The risk increases if an employee uses a personal device for work.
- Unsafe remote communication opens opportunities for social engineering attacks.
Now that we know what the risks are, let’s learn how to mitigate them.
How to Minimize the Remote Work Risks
Before we start discussing specific ways to mitigate the risks for remote workers, let us underline that it is of the utmost importance to have a written remote work security policy. Without a systemic approach, all your efforts may go in vain.
Use Trusted Devices
Having an employee use their personal device for work is not the best solution. Outside of working hours, a personal device can be used in many ways, some of which directly contradict the very idea of IT security.
You should not put your business at this risk. Ideally, you should provide an employee with a device that is set up and protected according to the company’s security standards. This is the only way to ensure the device will not become an entry point into your network for a cybercriminal.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
This is one of the most basic security means that is still, sadly, overlooked by many. Multi-factor authentication is an easy and reliable way to make a cybercriminal’s life much harder.
If you don’t use it yet, start today!
Keep Software Up to Date
The device used for remote work should only contain software needed for completing working tasks. Obviously, this software must be genuine and up to date. There are solutions that help download and install software updates automatically.
Monitor Your Devices
You need a complete understanding of the ways your employees work remotely, and what hardware and software they use. Today, plenty of monitoring solutions are available on the market – you should use one.
Use Trusted Networks
Using public or non-secure networks to connect to your company’s servers should be a big no-no for your employees. A virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to establish a secure connection and ensure no data is stolen in the process.
Run Malware Protection
Each device should have anti-malware software installed and scans should be run regularly. Today, real-time security scanning tools are available. They can identify potential threats and neutralize them in seconds. Those will prove useful for you and your remote team.
Use Secure Cloud Storage
A modern cloud solution can bring your security to a new level and provide an additional layer of protection with enterprise-level security systems used by cloud providers. And this is only one of the numerous benefits of cloud migration.
Train Your Remote Workers
No hardware or software will be effective if it is not used properly. Your employees should be familiar with security rules and protocols, tools, and best practices.
Regular training is a must to keep your business protected from cyberattacks. Phishing and social engineering are two of the most common areas where the human factor can play a vital role.
These are some high-level examples of what must be done to mitigate the risks of data breaches when your employees are working remotely. Of course, this list is not full: unfortunately, cybercrime keeps evolving. New threats, as well as new protection means, appear every day.
Need help with building a secure and reliable remote work environment? Call us today and let’s talk!