01 Dec Are you secure when remote working?
As we have explored previously, Covid-19 has made a transition to remote working more urgent than business owners previously anticipated. Within many firms, this has resulted in only the most basic of functions being set up to accommodate home working – getting the team on their feet to maintain productivity and continuity of service with clients.
With the need to maintain work away from the office has now become a long-term practice, it is critical that business leaders take a step back to evaluate the components otherwise overlooked in the rush to engage remote working.
Having previously explored the benefits, challenges and opportunities presented by the implementation of remote working, we will now take a moment to consider the security, compliance and regulatory implications that come with it – and how to overcome those barriers, ensuring that sensitive data is kept secure, wherever your team are working from.
Security when working remotely
86% of business executives believe remote workers increase a company’s chances of a data breach¹, meaning some education on the matter would be beneficial to ensure that you do not have the same concerns about your remote working team.
The first step toward ensuring you are cyber safe is to make sure all employees know data security is a priority, it is hard to believe but some may not know the importance of data security at a personal or professional level.
The next step is to establish a cybersecurity policy. The policy document should cover why there is a document in the first place, the details around what protocols the employees need to abide by – what the company will do to support them in abiding by them; and finally, a place for both the employer and employee to sign their commitment to the policy.
After you have a policy document in place and signed by your employees, stress the importance of Access control. The basic levels of access control are creating locked doors for any hacker to have to get through to get to the data.
A basic form of access control is the use of passwords – everyone in the modern world is familiar with passwords, they are a simple way of providing a layer of protection for your data. Staff should keep their passwords strong with capital letters, numbers, and special characters, they should also have a different password for every programme they have. If you are worried about your employee’s capability to do this then you can use a password manager that can randomly generate passwords for you and provides a safe place to store the passwords too. Even though this is the case many leave their systems wide open and barely defended with none or limited access control.
You need to also be certain that all internet connections are secure, using unsecured wi-fi networks is a common way data breaches occur. You need to make sure your Employees be careful about where they choose to work; yes, it is important to feel comfy, in a creative space, etc, but security must be of paramount importance. Making VPN’s a requirement (Virtual Private Network) is a must when signing on to public networks as this will encrypt the internet traffic of the remote worker and will also monitor for any signs of malware infection.
Another good quality security measure that is growing in popularity is two-factor authentication, many apps offer it alongside a password. The method confirms identity by username, your chosen password, and another piece of information – this is usually a secret answer to a secret question or more commonly a pin sent to another device. Two-factor authentication lowers the chance of a data breach because the probability of getting both the question and answer is slim – even more slim are the chances of getting the 4-5 digit pin correct.
Security should always be the most important concern on any employer/employee’s mind. In knowing these points you can be sure to have a secure system when working remotely, alleviating your concerns surrounding cybersecurity.
How can we help?
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