A recent survey showed that 51% of employed Americans have transitioned to working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sudden transition to remote work has left many businesses scrambling to establish policies and security protocols. Companies are moving toward long-term remote work arrangements, requiring advanced safeguards against cyberattacks and data breaches.
What measures does your business need to adopt to secure your employees’ remote access for the foreseeable future? Today we’ll review remote work security tips you should incorporate to ensure your company’s safety.
Employees have reported surprising benefits from working remotely. Besides newly flexible work schedules, several perks make the extra security precautions worthwhile:
Remote workers are typically the first to face security threats. They’re often the source of network security incidents that can ripple quickly through the rest of the organization. Even if you don’t have remote employees, mobile devices like smartphones and laptops pose security risks.
These are the top remote work security issues businesses should be wary of.
Do you know what equipment is being used, and by whom? Having an up-to-date inventory of devices and their users is critical to safety monitoring.
We cannot overstate the importance of setting up password restrictions. Instituting a system of regular, forced password changes is a simple step that many businesses miss.
Criminals who specialize in phishing scams lure individuals into providing sensitive information, including banking, credit card and password information. Individuals and businesses lost more than $3.5 billion in 2019 from email phishing scams.
Everyone from freelancers and full-time employees to consultants and partners is working on a slew of unsecured devices in a mash-up of operating systems and networks. As a result, they’re more vulnerable to network threats that are less common in the office.
Popular video app Zoom has been under scrutiny for a surge in “Zoom-bombing,” in which hackers hijack video meetings to spread malicious content. Make sure you take precautions to keep your video calls safe.
A good offense is the best defense. In a worst-case scenario, having a reliable backup and recovery system can save your business. Having a team of experts to take you from a break-fix mentality to a proactive maintenance schedule is worth its weight in gold.
Read: Why Your Business Needs a Network IT Assessment
A strong remote security policy is critical to daily operations and network resilience. Here are some tactics employers can take to protect their data no matter their location.
Cloud applications like Office 365 and QuickBooks Online offer 24/7 access. They include updated security features that are compliant with industry regulations.
Virtual public networks, or VPNs, are similar to firewalls. They are one of the most popular security tools for remote workers because they protect laptop data online while retaining the same security, functionality and appearance as if they were within the company network.
Many businesses resist instituting multi-factor authentication because, honestly, it’s a hassle. Waiting for an authentication code is a step many people would rather not take. However, this one practice is remarkably effective in preventing security breaches.
Enforcing BYOD (bring your own device) and MDM (mobile device management) policies protect users from a range of attacks.
Require employees to use encrypted password software to ensure password safety. Popular password managers include:
Create clear security guidelines for your employees so they understand how to protect themselves and their data.
Users can become complacent about cybersecurity practices. They often assume your company’s IT department takes responsibility for protecting them even outside of the office.
Employees are your first line of defense against cybersecurity attacks. Here are a few security best practices your remote employees should follow.
Whether employees are using company equipment or their own devices, make sure they know how to run software updates. Software updates or patches can include new or enhanced features, improve software stability, add security measures, and remove outdated features. Activate automatic updates on all remote devices to deploy patches regularly.
Using Zoom for your video meetings? Keep the following tips in mind to secure your Zoom meetings:
Don’t open or click on suspicious emails. Cybercriminals use phishing to entice users to share data and login credentials, typically through an email, instant message or text message. While IT security measures can help, phishing defense starts with employee awareness.
Unique passwords are a necessary security precaution many employees fail to take seriously. Don’t rely on easily hacked passwords (like “password123”).
Leaving your laptop unattended can compromise data and cause serious security headaches. Always lock your devices when not in use.
Unsecured networks make it easier for cybercriminals to access emails and passwords. Don’t work from a coffee shop or other public space unless absolutely necessary.
Thirty to forty percent of employee internet activity is non-work-related, affecting not only productivity but inviting security threats. A company laptop is for an employee’s business use only. Personal tasks should be done separately from a business laptop or other mobile device.
Cybersecurity for remote workers requires constant vigilance. If you’re nervous about your current remote security policies, give us a call. We’ll assess and implement the precautions necessary to ensure your remote employees can work safely and productively.
At Helixstorm, we’re committed to excellent customer service and continuously strive to exceed your expectations. Our certified engineers are dedicated to solving your business challenges – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact us today to chat about how our managed IT support services can help build your future securely.