Benefits of remote working
Employees have reported surprising benefits from working remotely. besides newly flexible work schedules, several perks make the extra security precautions worthwhile:
- Increased employee retention and productivity
- Reduced interruptions by coworkers
- Reduced company overhead costs
- Increased family time due to commute elimination
Top remote security risks for businesses
- Insecure passwords
- Phishing emails
- Using unsecured personal devices & networks
- Weak backup and recovery systems
- Data theft
What can you do to secure your data and business?
Remote security best practices for employers
1. Invest in a good vpn and antivirus tools
Many companies already have security tools like encryption, virus checkers, and vpns. But not every company makes these services available to remote workers.Don't hoard useful software at your central office or restrict it to specific staff members. Check the licences and expand access if possible. If you need to add extra users, it's often cheaper to do so across large numbers of workers instead of relying on individuals to purchase vital tools for themselves.Take a holistic approach and ensure that everyone is covered.
2. Put training at the centre of your business
Working from home shouldn't be seen as simply a change of work venue. It also requires employees and managers to master a new set of cybersecurity skills (or to refresh their already existing skills). Home workers need to be more aware of potential threats than those working inside the perimeter of office networks, and best practices need constant reinforcement.Because of this, it's a good idea to create enterprise-wide cybersecurity training courses. That includes executives often targeted by "whaling" attacks due to their lack of security expertise. Everyone needs reminding of their duties, and every worker needs to keep their knowledge up to date.
3. Notify staff about essential updates
Patching the tools your teams use is vital, so be sure to communicate with staff when updates become available. Every device or operating system you use will have regular updates to handle security flaws, but there's no guarantee that employees will apply these updates.Send an email or in-app notifications to mobile devices about the need to update, and apply auto-updates if this is an option. If staff routinely fail to patch their software, make sure you have disciplinary procedures in place to force compliance.
4. Distribute work devices to remote workers
If you provide a dedicated laptop to every remote worker, you can guard against data leakage or malware derived from activities like social media usage or online shopping.Use multi-factor authentication tools or the more advanced biometric authentication solutions with work devices, and you'll have much more control over how office resources are accessed. You can also make the edge of your network much more secure, adding peace of mind in the process.
5. Ensure secure password practices
Ensuring passwords are strong and secure is even more important when working remotely. At the most basic level, passwords should be long, strong, and unique: at least 12 characters composed of a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital and lower-case letters. Your employees should also add a password screen every time they access a laptop or other device; this makes it harder for a third party to access sensitive data should a device ever fall into the wrong hands.
6. Craft a clear and elaborate remote-work cybersecurity policy
The first step to winning the war against hackers targeting your staff working remotely is setting up clear rules, policies, and guidelines that govern the remote working landscape. Your remote staff could quickly become the entry point for a cyber attacker to infiltrate your networks and steal your data without clear guidelines.Cybersecurity policies should encompass everything. For example, it should stipulate remote working security protocols. One of the critical aspects the policy should address is the case for company-owned devices vs. personal devices. company devices tend to be much more secure than personal devices.
A Blurred Lines and Blindspots report reveals that 70% of remote workers tend to use their devices for office work. The same report also indicates that 30% of all the remote workers surveyed allow other parties to use their devices. In doing so, they jeopardise the entire organisation by making it susceptible to hackers.
7. Data encryption tools
Data encryption is always an excellent strategy for any organisation or business. but it should be given much weight when working remotely. Simply defined, encryption refers to the act of transforming plaintext data or information into a meaningless format referred to as ciphertext. Only the intended recipient who holds a cipher or an encryption key can read the data. Encryption software and protocols such as SSL certificates will immensely boost the security of your remote data. Installing the certificate on remote working applications and websites is crucial because it will conceal the in-transit data making it indecipherable.
If you have been contemplating having your employees work from their homes or you already have employees working from home, you must have adequate security protocols to protect them. Failing to do so will jeopardise your remote workforce and your security at large. This article has explained some of the most notable measures you should have to secure your remote workforce.
How can we help?
homebase offers one of the best all-round security solutions. The AI-enabled SaaS biometric face recognition solution ensures the security of your sensitive data even when your employees work remotely.
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