Employees working remotely obviously are relying on their home networks to meet their work KPIs. Many have purchased optimum bundles to get uninterrupted access to the internet without breaking their bank. Remarkable even using their own devices to get the job done, which can pose a number of risks. Even if they are tech-savvy, and you think they are complying with the rules shared by you at the time of going remote, you could still be at risk.
Presently, companies, regardless of their sizes, are at greater risk due to threats like password sharing. Phishing attacks, and unsecured personal devices. A majority of these security issues are not new. What’s new is the realization that the users, systems, and information that security teams are trying to secure are no longer within their control. In the remote setting, users are making decisions by themselves, and network teams aren’t even aware of it. This is what’s spiking the risk!
With a distributed workforce working from home, employees must be more aware of cybersecurity risks. Just handing over a manual of cyber security best practices and relying on the employees alone to follow them is not the right solution.
Ways to Improve Data Security in a Remote Setting
Since users are making security decisions on behalf of the network team, a cyber-security plan needs to be in limit or at least mitigating the impact of user actions on the business. In case you are wondering what can be done to deal with security risks, consider the options below.
1: Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Training
Right now, it’s not a good idea to bombard users with phishing scam emails. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to get everyone on the same page. Why not make some YouTube videos that you can share regularly? Not every business has the budget to invest in a robust awareness and training platform and cybersecurity training via videos could be your best bet. Just make sure HR is on board.
2: Keep the Doors of Communication Open
This is not the right time for the network security team to show cold shoulders to the user. They must instead figure out how to encourage the users to work for you. When it comes to remote access security, you’ll have to think outside the box.
To ensure that everyone is held accountable, ask the tough questions. Send out messages of positivity and encouragement to retain your users’ support.
3: Encourage the Use of VPNs
Connecting your computer to the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN connection) is common when working remotely, but this opens up new home office security ‘back doors’ that hackers could use.
To begin, it’s critical to provide employees with work-from-home security advice and guidance, as well as policies on how to be a safe remote worker. Companies should seek measures to improve the security of their VPN too because security works both ways.
Using the most secure authentication method feasible helps improve VPN security. Many VPNs require usernames and passwords to work but you might want to consider switching to smart cards. You can also improve your encryption mechanism for VPN access by upgrading it.
Employees will use their home internet connections while working from home. So, it would be best to teach them how to configure their personal firewalls and routers to make their networks secure.
4: Centralize the Storage
If your business uses cloud/server storage, be sure that all of your employees are using it. If you suspect that your employees are still storing files locally, reach out to them to ensure that they are aware of the centralized service.
Once everyone is using a centralized cloud storage solution, if your firm is hacked and local data are lost, destroyed, or compromised, you’ll be more likely to have a backup of critical information.
One Drive and Google Drive are secure solutions to save files in the cloud safely. Employees would be able to access their files from different devices no matter their location.
5: Encrypt Sensitive Data
Sending emails containing sensitive information is always a risk. It is possible that it will be intercepted or seen by a third party. When you encrypt the data attached to an email, it prevents the content from being viewed by an unwanted recipient.
Therefore, make it mandatory for your employees to encrypt sensitive data before sending it out. Also, ensure that all saved data on their devices is encrypted too.
Besides email encryption, there should be a strict security for website security, which is an integral part of a cybersecurity. If you think that SSL cert is a costly deal then, you should look around you as there are many low-cost deals available for your website security. Let’s say for ecommerce website, there are many cheap wildcard SSL certificates available that can secure numerous subdomains and can be installed on number of servers. It seems win-win situation for you. To avert further risk to customers’ valuable data, SSL cert becomes necessity.
Without a doubt, work-from-home is proving to be a game-changer in terms of security, and the companies that are considering longer-term WFH or hybrid models must become more focused on addressing the risks associated with this new normal.
- Next, you can also read: How to Hack Your Way to a Career in Cybersecurity?