The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in hundreds of countries, infecting over 5 million people and killing hundreds of thousands. As a result, many countries have imposed partial or full lock downs (some for months now) to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Companies of all sizes, from blue-chip giants to startups, have made employees work from home and there’s no saying when normal operations will resume. While telecommuting has saved businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, it doesn’t come without risk.
After all, the probability of sensitive data getting stolen is high in remote working situations. If your employees are working from home, it’s vital to prepare and arm them with the required tools to secure their devices and corporate information.
Below, we’ll go over a few effective ways to help you protect your remote workforce:
Implement a Work from Home Security Policy
You need to make sure that your employees are aware of the importance of cybersecurity and the crucial role they play in keeping company data safe. So, you’ll have to create a remote working security policy covering these topics:
- Why it’s imperative to have a remote working security policy?
- What security guidelines and procedures employees should follow when working from home?
- What resources and tools you’ll provide to help them comply with these requirements?
It should be mandatory for all employees (both new and existing) to sign the work from home security policy. Everyone has to ensure the security of corporate information and having a properly defined policy will make that possible.
Use Firewalls & Antivirus/Antimalware Programs
Firewalls and antivirus/antimalware software must be installed on all employee devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and desktop or laptop computers. In this way, they’ll able to go about their work as safely as possible. But let’s face it – you can’t expect everybody to be a techie!
Your employees might need assistance with the installation and updation of these tools. Therefore, your company needs to offer technical support, which is easily achievable through the use of mobile device management (MDM) applications.
Encrypt All Remote Connections
When it comes to accessing the corporate network, your employees should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It will enable them to access internal services from anywhere while safeguarding their traffic using the highest grade of encryption.
However, not all VPNs are created equally! You’ll have to make sure that you choose the right corporate VPN for your company. Consider what your needs and preferences are and research the market accordingly to find a well suited provider for you.
Prioritize Password Security
Choosing different and rock-solid passwords is one of the most convenient ways to protect your company’s information from the outside world. Despite that, most people select crackable passwords and reuse them frequently. This is where using password managers can help.
With these programs, you can generate strong and complex passwords as well as save and manage them under one roof. As a result, your employees can break free from the complicated task of remembering passwords and sensitive corporate data can remain safe and sound.
Communicate Using Secure Mediums
Make it a requirement for employees to conduct office-related conversations using secure mediums of communication. If not, there’s always the risk of their text messages and calls being monitored by unauthorized entities.
The VoIP, email, or chatting programs they converse through should offer no less than end-to-end encryption. However, the option isn’t enabled by default in some apps, so your employees may have to turn it on by themselves.
Employ Two-Factor Authentication
Chances are that your company uses cloud-based services like Salesforce, Microsoft 365, and Gmail, to name a few. In this case, you’re going to need more than just passwords to keep the valuable business information they hold secure.
Two factor authentication is just the technology you need to add another layer of security. Upon activation, the user has to prove their identity by passing an additional authentication check. This could be something like a one-time PIN or biometric verification, making it significantly difficult for hackers to get inside.
Wrapping Things Up
Remote working has many benefits and it doesn’t necessarily have to result in the compromise of your company’s data. Educate your workforce about the security challenges of remote working and empower them to follow the measures highlighted above to safeguard sensitive data even outside the office.
What other measures should a company take to protect their remote employees? Let us know your thoughts!
Such an informative article Yasir. It must have taken a lot of toil in curating such a masterpiece. I myself have been researching a lot lately about the cyber security during work from home