Remote working is on the rise. The benefits to both employers and employees are undeniable: it reduces gas consumption, makes for more productive employees, and provides a better work/life balance. But, as with any new technology or innovation in business practice, there are security risks that come into play when you start moving away from the office. Here are some strategies for protecting remote workers from security threats while still reaping all the benefits of remote working.
1. Communicate Security Policies and Procedures to All Employees
Your IT department should stay in regular contact with your mobile workforce, whether through email newsletters, webinars, or quarterly in-person meetings. Ensure that everyone is up to date on the latest security threats and what they can do to protect themselves.
2. Train Employees to Spot Suspicious Emails
Phishing attacks are very common when it comes to threats against remote workers, so be sure employees consider all angles before clicking on any link or opening an attachment. If they aren’t sure what it is, have them ask the IT department for assistance before proceeding with caution. This will help prevent malware and ransomware from infiltrating your network.
3. Educate Employees About the Importance of Using Secure Passwords
Passwords are your first line of defense in protecting your data and other security threats, so it’s essential that everyone is aware of the best practices for creating and managing them. Consider instituting a company-wide requirement to use alphanumeric passwords rather than easily guessed words. Consider a few tips for creating secure passwords to keep everyone on the same page:
- Use length and complexity. The longer and more random your password, the harder it will be for hackers to crack.
- Don’t use personal information like birthdays and addresses.
- Change all default usernames and passwords on your company devices.
4. Use Two-Factor Authentication on All Remote Devices
Two-factor authentication is another layer of security, requiring users to input a secondary piece of information before logging in securely. This includes some code sent through an app or text message, making it even more difficult for cybercriminals to infiltrate your network. Please make sure all employees have a two-factor authentication app installed on their devices so they can take advantage of this additional security measure, no matter where they are.
5. Take Advantage of Encryption
Encrypting your data is another way to safeguard it from unwarranted access. Any information sent across remote networks can be compromised if someone accesses the network at any point, so using encryption will ensure that only authorized users can see any sensitive or personal information.
According to a recent study, up to 40 percent of ransomware victims pay up. The cost of downtime, in terms of money and productivity, can be even greater. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take the right steps, both technical and managerial, that will help you protect your remote workforce.