The idea of remote work has been gaining traction in the past two decades, then suddenly catapulted in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some businesses were unprepared for this change, others took the opportunity to permanently shift their workforce to remote operations.
Although remote work has many benefits, such as better work-life balance, increased productivity, and more engaged workers, it also opens the door for technical vulnerabilities. In order to keep your company’s data and devices safe, ensure that your remote employees are taking the following cybersecurity steps.
1. Invest in Security
The COVID-19 outbreak demonstrated that even when the entire world is shut down, hackers are still hard at work. Low security, separate networks, and outdated devices have led to hackers targeting small and large businesses alike.
Without a professional, centralized IT team, your data is vulnerable to breaches. IT management is all about keeping a close eye on every device, network, and data item in your company. Make sure you’re doing all that you can to prevent data leaks by investing in a managed service provider who will secure, monitor, and protect your data 24/7.
Partnering with IT providers ensures that solutions such as firewalls, spam filtering, and professional-grade anti-malware devices are deployed across every system of your business.
2. Provide Your Employee with IT Training
According to IBM, an estimated 24% of data breaches are caused not by sophisticated hacking, but rather by human error that left the doors open for hackers. If your employees aren’t empowered to use safe cyber practices, your systems remain vulnerable, no matter how much software you have in place.
Ensure that your cybersecurity is comprehensive by training employees to recognize threats and prevent them from affecting your systems.
Training sessions should teach employees about their responsibility for company data, how to use and manage passwords, and the risks of using unauthorized software when connected to company systems.
They also need to be aware of how to respond to new and existing threats, such as phishing scams and ransomware. As you educate your employees about cyber threats, your company will become more secure.
3. Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts data that is sent or received through the internet. So, even if an opportunistic hacker were to access the data, they would be unable to see it without the ability to decrypt it.
How your employees transmit data from your company servers and platforms is important because data is at its most vulnerable when it is being transferred.
For that reason, it’s essential that the connection between devices and networks are secure. Make sure that employees avoid using public or otherwise unprotected WiFi connections, and consider using a company-wide VPN.
4. Get the Right Resources in Place
Simply put, you need to ensure you’re investing in the right solutions. This can include hardware, software, and IT support. You may want to purchase work-specific laptops equipped with firewalls, anti-malware, and other necessary security provisions for employees.
When it comes to data security, it’s also wise to partner with a Managed Service Provider in your area, such as an experienced Birmingham IT company or another local provider that can consistently monitor your resources.
Without a professional team keeping an eye on your data, you can miss the tell-tale signs of a potential data breach. With surveillance comes the opportunity to quickly react to potential threats, and address any vulnerabilities that already exist in the system.
Although your employees have to play their part, it’s your role as the leader to make sure that cybersecurity is a top priority throughout the company. Keep these tips in mind and consider creating a comprehensive remote working cybersecurity policy for your team to follow.