The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a paradigm shift in how companies operate. There were speculations about the productivity and efficiency of the workforce initially. However, remote working turned out to be a successful experiment for some companies and they decided to continue with it permanently.
What started as an incumbent covid situation has helped to improve the efficiency of the workforce.
At the same time, it aided in cutting down expenditure to run offices. It all seems bright, except when we think about cyber security in remote work and data protection in remote working.
When employees work remotely, network vulnerabilities increase. And it becomes easy for data thieves to intercept weak networks. Worse yet, the world has witnessed a leap in cybersecurity attacks in the year 2021 and the scenario will be worse in the coming years.
That being said, data security in remote work culture is crucial. This article covers all key security considerations for remote working. Read on!
All the devices in central offices are connected on a fortified network that doesn’t require additional security measures to be followed by employees. But in the case of remote work, the endpoints at home are connected to the central office via a third-party internet provider.
That makes it quite convenient for hackers to intercept these comparatively weak connections and jeopardize the entire company’s data security. This leads to the point that security in a remote work setting requires altogether a different set of steps to be followed.
No matter how common and obvious protocols might seem, it’s crucial to document them thoroughly. Proper documentation lets you check with the guidelines when in confusion and also helps you keep a record of minor changes done.
Money spent on reinforcing security in remote work will go a long way. Here are some tools you should offer to your employees and make their use mandatory.
- Two-factor authentication: Using an authenticator tool ensures that only the employee has access to the company’s web portal and other apps. This simple tool keeps hackers and bots from accessing sensitive data.
- VPN: Remote workers should always be on a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It encrypts the data being transferred and route it through its servers. In a nutshell, even if the hackers intercept the connection, they will get the encrypted data.
To be on the safer side, you should hire professionals to ensure your entire network is secured through a VPN.
- Password management tools: Storing passwords online is a big risk. Offering password management tools to your remote workers will ensure that the credential database is safe and secure.
Apart from this, data security in remote working requires employees to use SSL anywhere and follow other best practices.
Encrypted communication should be the default
Even a single data breach can create a disastrous situation for a business. There are incidents that have been reported where attackers made their way to the company’s database through the vulnerabilities in third-party vendors’ communication channels.
That said, no un-encrypted communication should happen whatsoever. This is possible when you implement encrypted communication as default. Additionally, you should keep your business website safe using TLS security, automatic malware scans, removals, auto backups, etc.
TLS security is nothing but having an appropriate SSL certificate for your business website. Nevertheless, they are pivotal to keep communication encrypted all the time. You can get cheap SSL certificate from reputed SSL certificate providers online.
Having a stringent cybersecurity policy for remote workers will minimize the risk of mishaps. Making a policy alone won’t do the job. You have to train your remote workers online or offline whichever is feasible.
The training program should be designed to make remote workers understand the importance of cyber security best practices. Not to mention, revise the policy and training program at regular intervals to keep your defense updated.
Most data breaches occur due to the negligence of employees. What’s worse? Data thieves can use phishing and social engineering to introduce ransomware to your system. And it could be your worst nightmare for your business.
Your trustworthy and long-term employees are already aware of cyber security’s importance. When accessing the sensitive information database, they should be put under a zero-tolerance policy to mitigate the risk of negligence.
Different apps and software used by your business have an access to some part of your database. You should revisit all the permissions you’ve offered and revoke them if necessary.
Moreover, allow your employees to use only the latest version of software and apps. The latest versions have updated security patches and maximum protection against cyber security threats.
To keep cyber attackers away from accessing your database, you have to strengthen the defense on the remote workers’ side. All the key data security considerations discussed in this article will surely help to safeguard your business. Apart from that, you should keep your remote employees in the loop with cybersecurity norms by spreading awareness through your company’s communication channel. Including case studies and statistics in it will make it more effective.
Also, most data breaches occur in well-secured databases due to negligence. So, while focusing on implementing cyber security best practices, do not miss out on addressing the apparent negligence of employees. That’s all. We wish you a safe remote or hybrid working! Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.